Monday, September 20, 2010

Filing and Un-Filing

We all know how to file – get a stack of related papers, staple them together, grab an empty hanging folder, label it, drop it into a cabinet drawer.


My system includes UN-filing stuff too.

I have several cabinet drawers variously labeled “Clients”, “Projects” and so on.

“Clients” has a hanging folder for each individual or organization for whom I have done paid work. If they haven’t paid me, then I’m not going to keep track of them for free.

“Projects” has a hanging folder for each project NOT related to a client. Typical examples are the numerous end-user and developer applications I produce, and the courses scheduled for September 28th and October 13th.

I obtain a fresh hanging folder by taking the stalest hanging folder (from the rear of the drawer) and shredding its contents.

The nature of my business is that I keep notes on a client project, but after three or four years have passed, the notes are useless (because the project has outlived its life) and can be discarded.

The nature of business nowadays is that there’s a strong chance that my contact has left the organization, too,

In any case, if the hanging folder hasn’t been “touched” for 4 years, any contact will be treated as a “new client”. A folder is “touched” when more paid work flows, in which case the folder is moved to the front of the drawer and gets a new lease of life.

There are, perhaps, 3 dozen hanging folders in each cabinet drawer. I can’t deal with more than 36 clients and/or 36 projects.

So UNfiling is a necessary act, and stops the office from being swamped with paper.

Talk to Me !

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