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Paper Organization Challenge – Day 11: What’s Your System?

Paper Organization Filing System

Are you ready to begin setting up a filing system for all those papers you sorted so many days ago? If you’ve been following along with this Paper Organization Challenge then yes, you are! You’ve gathered (Day 1), sorted (Days 2 and 3), set up an Action File System (Day 4), purged (Days 6 and 7), protected your vital documents (Day 8), set up your tax files (Day 9) and organized your receipts (Day 10). Now, let’s get busy with filing the remainder of your documents.

Decide on a system

The type of filing system you select will depend on your personal preferences. My suggestion: keep it simple! There are a multitude of different ways to set up filing systems … far more than we’re going to discuss here. In the interest of keeping it simple, here are my suggestions for you to consider:

  • Would you like a color-coded system or plain manila? You could use a different color to visually identify each of the broad categories you created on Days 2 and 3. Color is exciting (meaning, more fun to file) and helps identify where a file should be returned to. Can you tell I like color?!
  • Would you like to set up your files straight alphabetically, or by topic? A topic-based system would be similar to the broad categories you created as you sorted your papers. For example: all “insurance” documents together, all “credit accounts” together, etc.
  • Will you have room to keep all your files in one location, or will you need to store certain files in different places?
  • When selecting a color system or location, think retrieval. What method feels easier to you? Where will you think to go look.

Spend some time thinking about these options. We’ll begin to put your system into place next week.

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