How I Set Up My Files (Brief)
I have wanted to post on filing for a long time, but have not gotten to it because there is so much to say. So, instead of continually putting it off, I’m just going to post some brief things on filing now and then. Doing incomplete posts on how to set up your file categories are probably better than doing nothing at all. And, eventually, I hope to get around to a full series on the subject.
So, here are two pictures of my file categories. You’ll notice in the left-hand part of the screen shot that I divide my categories into 7 major divisions, which are:
- MP [= personal]
- DG [= work]
- NC [= consulting and such]
- General Reference
- Quick Access
I will save going into the distinction between these divisions for another post. For now, I thought I’d just show a screen shot that shows the categories I use in my personal files.
The organizing principle for these categories is area of responsibility. Each area of responsibility gets a file — if I have something I need to file for it. The result is that everything has a place. Further, it is easy to know how to create a new category if nothing existing fits for something — I just ask what area of responsibility it pertains to, and if it doesn’t exist, I just create a file for it.
Within these categories are sub-categories, which I will also save for a future post.
One other thing that I’d also like to talk about now but will save for later (among many other things) is why filing even matters at all when you can search your computer.
In the meantime, here’s the screen shot of my personal file categories (sorry if it’s small — just click to enlarge):
And here’s a continuation with what wouldn’t fit in that screen shot:
One other note: Just because I have a category of something here doesn’t mean that this is the primary repository of my files for that area. I also have paper-based files, which continue to be the main home for many of these categories (for example, bank statements, which I don’t like receiving electronically). My physical files follow the same structure so that everything is based on one unified approach.
Tomorrow I will post the categories I use for my work files.