View Full Version : best filing system without a cabinet?
I have just provisionally labeled all my manilla files and want to put them somewhere! Somewhere that I have very easy access to, that I can add more files to, but that wont take up the same amount of space as a big cabinet???
06-21-2005, 03:14 PM
Get a file basket, if you have enough. There are some out there that are essentially cube-shaped. It's the equivalent of about half of one file-cabinet drawer.
06-21-2005, 04:54 PM
At my home office, in addition to my Hon 4 drawer file cabinet (which I could NOT do without in using GTD :), I have an "open top" cart on wheels that I keep next to my desk. The cart is designed for hanging folders so I put about a dozen "box-bottom" hanging folders in it then lots of manila folders in the hanging folders. The wheeled cart is nifty as it rolls around and does not take up as much room as a standard file cabinet.
You might check your local office supply store and see what they have available.
I have another question about this, I went to the office supply store today and looked for the box bottom hanging folders, i have to order them in, but anyway i also looked at filing cabinets does Dave Allen recommend using hanging folders in the filing cabinets??? because I have not seen any filing cabinets that dont use hanging folders,
06-22-2005, 10:03 AM
My recollection from GTD is that David does not recommend hanging file folders. However, I do not use the hanging file folders for indexing or labeling but merely as "containers" to hold the manila folders on my auxiliary wheeled cart otherwise they would fall through to the ground. The manila folders are used for indexing and labeling which is a practice consistent with GTD as I understand it :)
Hope that helps some,
06-22-2005, 10:09 AM
With respect to standard filing cabinets (not auxiliary mobile wheeled carts) holding hanging folders vs. manila folders, I have a 4 drawer Hon filing cabinet which cost me about 125 bucks at Office Depot. It will hold either hanging folders or manila folders.
Hope that helps clarify the topic some.
thanks for all the help Danny, checked out your website its really cool, wanted to ask though in a filing cabinet situation where your not using hanging folders, how are the manilla folders kept upright (in the case of a vertical cabinet) and how are they divided between a,b,c, etc etc?
sorry if this sounds stupid but it is really important for me
06-22-2005, 05:03 PM
Glad I could be of help! My Hon 4 drawer file cabinet (in which I use mainly manila folders) comes with flexible metal wire guides which you can attach to holes in the side of the file cabinet drawers to keep the folders from collapsing. If your file cabinet is not similarly equipped you might try putting an old phone book or other heavy book behind your manila folders until you fill the drawer.
06-22-2005, 05:13 PM
There are different schools of thought with regard to the A-Z vs. numerical filing and indexing systems. Those issues are discussed in some detail in other threads in the newsgroup.
I use a combination (probably over-kill) index system where I put a sequential index number on the left side of the manila folder and an "A-Z" description on the right side of the folder, then file the folders in numerical order. I buy the "full cut" manila folders so there is sufficient room across the top to enter the indexing information. I maintain the system on a simple Excel spreadsheet which is basically the index and it goes into the first manila folder in the file cabinet marked appropriately enough, "Index".
You should try each system then decide on the one that enables you to most quickly find the documents and records you need.
06-23-2005, 03:24 PM
I have 8 bankers boxes open on a table, on an interim basis, at home, where most of the mess to process is. If you are processing a back log, it is easier not to open and shut drawers. Also. I have not set up my office and don't know if I want 2 drawer or 4-drawer or laterals. One box is just financial stuff--that is specific accounts, creditors, etc. These folders are green, currently all a to z but it will become divided by years soon: and then a to z within the years. It will go in a locking cabinet at some point. I want to be able to file financial information really fast and get it really fast, so I did not want to have to look through a bunch of Cs for Crown Bank or a bunch of B's for "Bank: Crown. One box is just information on house and furnishings, like pictures of stuff we may want, articles on furnaces, brochures, etc, and all are filed a to z and I have a piece of card board that lists the categories. These are in their own box becuase they made the whole system to big to wlak through easily. If we actually own a particular item in the house file, it is in a yellow folder (e.g. "Lighting-we have" is in a yellow folder vs Lighting-kitchen is in a plain one). The remaining 6 are general, filed a to z and within that I use red folders for anything that pertains to individuals in my life. And, again here, yellow for objects that we own, like a trimmer or a cuisinart or a bike. And, again within the general boxes, green is for anything with financial implications but not the kind of thing you would lock up or consider in a tax return. So genreal information about longterm care insurance is in a green folder in the general boxes but the insurance policy is in the financial box. In the general files anything that is personal to me is in purple folder. As to the color coding-I am integrating this into the system as I work. It is my proposed answer to certain discomforts I have had about mixing some things together, as well as retrievability, and file-ability. If I just can't stand having certain things mixed in with the rest, I can yank them all quickly and then easily know what box they go in. Most of my professional files are in my office (not at home) but any at home start with prof: ____.
great advice thanks, i am sure I will have more questions later!
I have just called a couple of office supply places in the city and these cabinets "with flexible metal wire guides which you can attach to holes in the side of the file cabinet drawers" seem to be hard to find! Is there any name or type I should be looking for?
07-01-2005, 01:38 PM
Hopefully you have an Office Depot, OfficeMax, or Staples type store in your city. The Office Depot not far from my house carries several models of Hon filing cabinets, including the ones with the flexible wire guides. If none of your local stores carry quality file cabinets then you should check with some of the manufacturers on-line to see what they would charge to send you one, including shipping.
Don't pinch pennies on your file cabinet. A good one will outlast you.