In this day of the electronic office, it is possible to take the concept of filing papers for granted. Developing efficient office filing policies can help keep important documents available and active documents easy to find. Regardless of how much documentation is done on computers, there will always be a certain amount that needs to be printed out and filed by hand. Keep up on office filing and you can run a more efficient office.
Regardless of how detailed an office filing policy may be, someone needs to be responsible for implementing the policy on a daily basis in order for it to be effective. Delegating filing authority can vary depending on the volume of information to be filed, the complexity of the filing system and how often information is retrieved and needs to be re-filed.
With a good filing policy, the filing should only be done by the responsible person. If anyone else removes a document, there should be a rule that the document is placed in an "in" basket to be filed by the responsible party. If there are several people responsible for filing, you should create a system on each folder where the last person who filed something must sign their initials. In order to maintain a good filing system, responsible people must be held accountable.
According to PowerHomeBiz.com, one of the ways to keep your files organized is by color coding them. You can color code files by using colored tab stickers, or you can purchase file folders of various colors to use in your cabinets.
When you separate by color, it may be more efficient to use the color coding system for the more comprehensive headings and then a different system for the sub-headings. For example, all financial documents can be put in green files but the documents pertaining to tax information would have their own system in place. Experiment with color coding your color coding system. Green folders can be used for financial documents, but red tab stickers can be put on the tax-related information.
Your most used files will be the ones that should be considered active, and the ones that will not be referred to on a regular basis can be archived. An active file system is dynamic and leaves room for expansion and addition. Once a document has been deemed beyond its active phase, it is moved to archiving. Keep your active files available for those that will need them, and keep up on organizing your active files every day.