A considered and organised filing system is something that every business needs, allowing them to have a precise understanding of where documents are, as well as an easy way to access them. The filing system should represent the way that your business operates, integrating well into your every day usage of documents. We have some top tips to help you create the perfect filing system for your business:
Easy Access to relevant Documents
When designing and creating an effective filing system, the first thing to consider is your ability to access documents in a relevant and easy way. By placing a document that is likely to be needed right at the bottom of the system, you are creating a time consuming and difficult task to retrieve the document. By using common sense, you will be able to determine which documents are most likely to be needed more frequently than others, placing them in the most ideal position.
Any documents that are related to employees’ pay or other related information may need to be more easily accessible than documents including information about ex-customers. As many documents may often be used in conjunction with each other, it would be a good idea to store them together, saving time and creating a smaller task when retrieving such documents.
File Documents based on Retention Deadlines
If a document has reached its retention deadline, there would be no use filing it within the same system as those documents that are still active. Not only is it a waste of time fitting them into the system, but disregarding them may also create more space for your documents to be filed. Determining retention deadlines can help you to create a relevant and up to date system, allowing you to store inactive documents rather than including them within an already busy filing system.
Create an Organised and Uniformed System
A business filing system should firstly be organised, uniformed and easy to understand, so that all employees can have a good understanding of how to use it. By operating a filing system that several people aren’t comfortable with or may not understand, it can become a confusing part of their job and could eventually be disregarded anyway and the situation can be made even worse. It is important to discuss amongst the whole group how the filing system should work, ensuring that everybody has a clear understanding of it from the get go.
It can also be a good idea to take a systematic approach, using reference numbers for each individual file or colour codes to represent topics and departments. By doing this, you can also increase the ease in which the documents can be found, taking much less time to locate what you are looking for. The use of spreadsheets is also very beneficial, meaning that you can backup your files just in case the worst was to happen.
Keep Your Desk Neat and Tidy
A neat desk that is clear and tidy can often be the key to a healthy working environment, but also to ensure the security and organisation of business documents. By leaving documents on your desk, you are potentially leaving yourself open to a number of hazards. By having a complete filing system, all desks can be kept clear and risks can be minimised by filing documents away at the end of each working day. With this in mind, any filing system that you create should be able to handle regular filing without collapsing.