Good day. There are many things I have learned from reading books and articles written by David Allen and the GTD staff, but the one thing that has made the greatest impact of all is filing. I had a LARGE box filled with papers of all kinds; photos, recipes, articles to read, grade reports, pay stubs, every kind of piece of paper that would normally enter a household. You know, one of those "until I get to it boxes" that grew larger and larger each year.
I have filed every piece of paper I have into my 4 drawer file cabinet. Right now, I have 169 file folders filed by name, not category. As I create and get rid of files, I have a list of my files recorded in Word and synced to Documents to Go so that I'll stay on top of them.
What do I have in 169 file folders? Well I have articles to read by category; sewing files - one each for fabric, fashion ideas, etc.; one for recipes for entertaining, another for recipes for personal nutritional plan which are quite different; one for each creditor, one for each of my insurances, one for my husband, one each of my grandchildren, one each for certain family members; taxes by year; various software, etc. I do have all of my small appliance info placed in one manila folder, but that's about all I have combined.
I have also separated my photographs into expanding file folders and placed those into my file cabinet labeled by category until I can get to or delegate another option for those. But at least they're now in order and not thrown haphazardly into a box.
Now, I must stay that I don't have the files labeled with a labeler and I do use hanging file folders, but I have each folder in a separate hanging file folder, labeled in pencil on the manila file folder. I like using hanging file folders because it's easier for me to move the manila folders around to find what I want.
I'm sure I can purge and get rid of some of the folders that I have and I will - I figure I'll do it by alphabet - 1 a week. That will give me 2 go-rounds for each file per year.
In the past I labeled by category and it was not always to simple to find a file - especially if I changed the category name. This works for me. What a freeing feeling. Ahhhhhhh - but those are my personal files.
I'm going to be starting a business soon and I hope this works just as well for that - which is yet to be determined.
Well, thanks for taking the time.