April 16, 2012

Hard Copy Filing

Here’s some good tips for how to begin to file.


It’s nice to have hanging files (typically olive green but colors are available for a bit more money) with the file folders placed inside of them. They slide easily back and forth on metal bars on the side make access easy. A box of them will come with plastic tabs you can write the file name on.

For easiest filing, insert the plastic tab in the middle of the front of the file folder. Experience has taught us that it’s easier to scan  the middle front to back, rather than dart side to side looking for a name.

File folders (typically manilla color but you can get colored ones, usually more expensive).


Pick categories you think of when you’re looking for something (would you call a file “Auto” or “Car” or “Vehicle”?). Whatever name you choose would determine it’s alphabetical order. Then, within that hanging file, let’s say you call it “Auto” you would have separate folders for things like “Auto Repairs,” “Auto Insurance,” “Auto Loan,” or whatever you choose.

BEWARE of naming files general words like “Miscellaneous” or anything that could collect papers you’d never find again.

Also, you may want to keep a current and one-year earlier tax return handy  in a file called “Taxes.” But don’t fill up your file drawer with six years of tax returns. The earlier ones can be put into a file box (labeled, of course) in a closet. You can keep the back-up information for all years in that same box.


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