If your filing cabinet is bursting at the seams, it might be time to update your document storage routine. Making sure that your document storage routine is right is important for a number of reasons. One, it’s great for archiving older documents for historical, legal or legislative purposes. Another reason to reconsider your document storage routine is to make sure you have access to the current documents you’ll be using more frequently.
Here are 6 questions to ask yourself during your document storage routine.
One way to organize your filing cabinet is by date. Think about whether you really need outdated documents. Some documents such as historical or legal documents are good to have even if they are older. Other documents such as old budget worksheets and business plans don’t need to be saved.
Another way to determine where a document belongs is by how often you refer to it. If you find yourself reaching for a document frequently, you might consider placing it in the front of your cabinet, or even on a paper file on your desk.
If you’ve realized that a specific document belongs in your filing cabinet, remember to re-evaluate which section of your cabinet it belongs to. Placing a document in the top drawer can be more easily accessible than the drawer at the bottom. In addition, depending on your organization structure within your cabinet, make sure your document fits in the right section whether that be by date, alphabetical or topical.
Jumping off the third question, consider what the best place is for certain documents. You may even come to the conclusion that some documents belong in a co-worker’s filing cabinet or in your office storage space, as opposed to in your filing cabinet or on your desk.
In the effort to promote a paperless office, reduce clutter and improve organization, consider which documents can move online. There is an online solution for nearly every problem. Keeping this in mind, think about which of your businesses areas can be transferred to an online solution. For example, documents from activities such as marketing campaigns, business plans, and invoicing have the potential to be moved online.
Finally, determine which of your documents are of no use. If the document is very outdated, if it refers to old practices, or old employees, you probably don’t need to keep the document. If you plan on throwing away documents, make sure you recycle. In addition, you may even want to consider selecting an appropriate document shredder to protect your privacy.
Use these questions to create your document storage routine and to help organize your filing cabinet.
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