Today’s post covers one of those great filing challenges:
How to file items that don’t seem to belong anywhere.
These simple tips hold true for both paper and electronic filing.
Before we begin, thanks to N.S.I. for suggesting this blog topic!
Think about future retrieval.
Stressing out about where to file something?
Try asking yourself these straightforward questions:
- Will I use the item frequently or infrequently? Will it be on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis?
- Will this item be used for reference only?
- Will I need to use this item for personal or work purposes?
Group like with like.
Filing doesn’t necessarily have to follow a linear pattern, such as alphabetizing items by company or project.
Consider branching out sideways. How can you file items based on existing files, or how you normally work?
For example, if you want to file a hotel rewards card and correspondence, you might file them with:
- The bills for that specific hotel chain
- Other travel rewards cards for hotels, car rentals, airlines, train, or commuting
- General rewards items such as free coupons, gift certificates, two-for-one purchases
- Specific work travel/project items
You could also enter the information into your address book, or other information app in your cell phone, smart phone, tablet, or computer for easy reference
Consider whether you need an item.
Lastly, it’s important to consider whether or not you need to hold onto an item. If you can’t think of a solid reason as to why you’d need to retrieve an item at a later date, you may want to rethink holding on to that item in the first place.
Maybe it’s about time to finally trash, shred, or recycle the item in question.
How about you? What part of filing miscellaneous items is the most difficult? What filing/sorting methods work for you? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!