How to Make Filing Easier
Despite a trend towards more digital offices, most businesses still keep a paper document trail, and depending on your business, it may be vital to be able to locate and retrieve important documents quickly and easily. Whether they’re sales contracts, order histories, vendor invoices, or payroll documents, there is almost always a need for an organized filing system. We’ve compiled a list of simple ways to revamp your filing to ensure your company has a seamless and efficient filing system.
Organize Your Supplies
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it truly is the first step to efficient filing. Your number one priority should be to store your filing supplies in a central location to make it quicker and easier to create new files, label file folders and file important paperwork. If you don’t already have one in place, consider adding a storage table in your filing room to better organize filing supplies such as file folders, labels, pens or markers, hanging folders, and more.
Choose the Right File Folders
How wide will your labels be? To choose the right folders, you will first need to decide if you want 1/3 cut file folders or 1/5 cut folders. The latter will allow you to better separate files and are great for quick viewing, but if your labels need to be more descriptive than one to three words, you may be better served with 1/3 cut folders.
Also, think about what you will be filing. If these are standard invoices, you may simply need a single standard file folder per customer or vendor. If you are filing several distinct types of documents within each folder (contracts, invoices, payment records, etc.), it may be necessary to choose file folders with dividers inside. Further, you may need clasp folders if you are wanting to keep your documents in a specific order at all times.
Label Every Folder
Decide what information you need to be able to see at first glance. This is the information you will want to place on your label. Options include company names, project numbers, dates, customer numbers, and more. If you are needing multiple pieces of information, consider adding your lines of texts in different fonts to make each line of text more easily readable. Finally, always print your labels if possible. Consistent and clear printed labels make it easier to find important documents quickly and makes your filing cabinet appear more professionally organized.
Use the Right Filing Cabinet
Depending on your design aesthetic or filing needs, you will first want to decide on a lateral or vertical file. With lateral files, you will be viewing your file labels from the side, which may not be ideal for those with walls nearby. Vertical files, by contrast, may not be suitable for those who are attempting to fit filing cabinets underneath desks, tables or other workspaces.
You will also need to consider what types of documents you will be filing. For most businesses, a letter sized filing cabinet is ideal. For those filing legal sized documents, you will need a legal sized filing cabinet. A reputable office furniture outlet will often have both legal and letter sized lateral and vertical filing cabinets, so be on the lookout for affordable options at used office furniture stores near you.
Clean Out Old Files
Finally, you will want to clean out your old files. At least once per year, go through each cabinet and purge any files that are no longer active. Store documents you need to hold onto for tax and/or record keeping purposes and shred/toss documents that you can eliminate completely. Too many companies let this final task become long overdue. Don’t procrastinate, as proper file cleaning is important to making your everyday filing tasks as efficient and easy as possible.