My assistants and I are filing queens. Seriously. We should have tiaras. In this week’s tip, I’m going to recommend a certain type of software, “The Paper Tiger®,” that is just terrific. You can order it (and get a free trial) by going to the Paper Tiger website. You’ll see that there is a desktop or a cloud-based version. I’ve used Paper Tiger software for nearly 13 years – and wouldn’t be without it. It keeps me squared away on my filing (and finding what’s been filed!)
Anyway, on to truisms related to filing so you can avoid filing systems that aren’t:
- Stacks of paper are just that. Stacks. They are only good for starting fires.
- Random boxes (occasionally labeled) are not filing systems.
- Notebooks (much as I love them) are not necessarily organized.
- Alphabetical filing systems are rarely alphabetical (what word do you choose to file by?)
- Piles, even neat piles, are not filing systems. See #1. So, here’s the solution: buy and use “The Paper Tiger” software. Here’s why:
- It’s organized by number. Visualize all the files in your cabinet having a number – starting with “1” and ending with a number that corresponds with your last file. This might be 67 or it might be 867). Visualize all your notebooks with numbers on the spine (rather than words). Visualize all the boxes in your storage unit with numbers on them.
- As you are inputting the information into your Paper Tiger database, you will identify the key words that you might think of to describe the file. Let’s say you have a file that is a list of committee members. You can list “Morale Committee,” as the name of the file and then have “Phil, Betty, John, Betsy and Marcia,” “Summer Shindig,” and on and on as your “key words.” When you type any (or all) of these words into your program, it will lead you to the numbered file.
- Finding files that you have “paper tigered” is as easy as using a good search engine. You type in a word or words and are directed to where you’ve stored the information.
- You can add files until the end of time, and you won’t be jamming them in a too-tight file drawer (because it’s organized by number, new files are added at the end).
- Other people can be trained to use your system and either file new items for you or retrieve files as you need them.
As I said, if you order this through my affiliate link, you will pay the same price as you will through the company so you can give me the commission or you can give it to the company. Either way, you can be sure I’m not recommending it just to make a commission. I use it myself–everyday.
To learn more about this system access the free webinar I recently taught, Paper Tiger System to File & Find Your Stuff.