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How To Keep Your Digital and Paper Files Organized

You need to be organized to find the important things

By J.R. HeimbignerPublished about a year ago 3 min read
How To Keep Your Digital and Paper Files Organized
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

There is nothing worse than not being able to find important files. Whether they are on your computer or in a filing cabinet, you need to have an effective system to capture, collect, and file your information.

One of the most crucial systems for work at home and business is this one. When it comes to storing information, it is critical for easy access. I maintain track of digital and paper files in separate folders.

Digital Filing

I utilize two different solutions for my digital filing. I have folders and tools like Microsoft OneNote and Evernote. And I recommend that everyone sign up for one of these systems to keep track of everything they own on the internet.

To begin with, specific projects are the sole information that gets into folders. Begin by creating a massive folder for the year, such as "2019," and then placing each major project within it.

For example, I now have a "2019 folder" on my computer, which has folders for my Life Plan and Goals, Book Projects in Progress, and everything relevant to my blog. The trick is to be able to locate them quickly in the future.

If something is repeated year after year, you should only keep the most recent information for the following year's folder. Anything that hasn't been completed in the last three months is archived in the previous year's folder.

Second, keeping track of referring material with apps like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote is critical. Both tools allow you to search for information rapidly; however, you can discover what you're looking for much faster if you keep your files sorted by topic.

I use Evernote at home and for my projects. Phone apps, computer apps, and web apps are all available. I also save critical reference information regarding our house, my side ventures, and blogging and writing templates in my OneNote, just like I do at work.

Paper Filing

First, try to keep paper to a minimum. If you must have paper documents, try to keep them all in one filing box or drawer in a filing cabinet. Try and do this at work too. It is amazing how easier it is to find information when you have less to go through.

Now, going paperless is not always possible. So when you have things that require paper, I have a simple system that I picked up from David Allen and his book Getting Things Done:

  • Start with one folder at the front of everything labeled: Action Items.
  • One folder behind this one is marked: Someday.
  • And then create folders are which are alphabetized. This is all the organization we need with paper.

Action items are things that you need to do something about, such as bills or contracts. Some days are reserved for reading articles or evaluating anything you received in the mail. ALL other references go in the alphabetized directories.

You'll be able to find anything in alphabetical order—the two front folders aid in processing chores and mail that comes in regularly. Once a week, go through these two front folders. It's usually around the start of the week.

Our alphabetized files at work assist us and our coworkers find anything we need in a flash. I never have to seek a file in my cabinet for more than 30 seconds because everything is labeled correctly and easy to find.

When looking up anything, you need to reference it fast. This fundamental paper filing system will save you time and energy.

Final Thoughts

All of this is important because we need to be able to access information fast to move from task to task efficiently. When our files and supplies are well-organized, we may save a lot of time and effort when we need to use them.

And productivity is only a tiny portion of the equation. When it comes to identifying essential items, our organization also helps to alleviate tension. So, when you go to work tomorrow morning, set aside an hour to get organized.

At work, how well-organized are you? How do you stay on top of everything? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About the Creator

J.R. Heimbigner

Author and creator, Husband and Father, Jesus Follower and Reader of Books

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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