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17 Jan

The indispensable hanging file folders

Datum: 2011-01-17 09:53

When I wrote about the fact that a mas­sive clean up once in a while isn’t enough to keep our work­spaces cleared from dis­tract­ing clut­ter, in the Swedish edi­tion of our week­ly newslet­ter Done! before Christ­mas, Gun-Britt Karls­son got in touch with me. 

With regards to keep­ing the desk clean, she wrote:

I couldn’t do with­out my hang­ing file sys­tem. I have fold­ers with the tabs Mon­day – Fri­day, Jan­u­ary – Decem­ber, wait­ing-for and mis­cel­la­neous remem­ber-fold­ers. In these fold­ers I have plas­tic pock­ets named type, pro­to­col to adjust, next board-meet­ing, con­fer­ence, Christ­mas-par­ty or what­ev­er might be rel­e­vant. Then I put the plas­tic pock­ets in the right fold­er and when the activ­i­ty is com­plet­ed, the mate­r­i­al is filed away in binders and the hang­ing file fold­er is reused for the next time the activ­i­ty occurs. Usu­al­ly they recur month­ly or annu­al­ly. If it’s a one-time activ­i­ty I just emp­ty it and reuse the plas­tic pock­et to some oth­er activity. 

This sys­tem works excel­lent­ly for me and has done so for many years. I always have an emp­ty desk when I leave the office for the day. It’s great to arrive in the morn­ing, pick up today’s fold­er and just get on with the day’s work.”

I think it’s an excel­lent tip.

What Gun-Britt is describ­ing is sim­i­lar to what I usu­al­ly call a tick­ler file”, but the divi­sion of the fold­ers dif­fers slight­ly. I think it’s smart that she has gath­ered her papers in project fold­ers” and that she keeps them in the fold­er which rep­re­sents the sit­u­a­tion in which she will need them next time.

How do you do it? What’s your way of keep­ing a clean desk?

Please com­ment below.