A Recipe for Getting More Done 3: Efficient File Systems

September 24, 2007

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On average, Inefficiencies rob 20% of our day.

The four ingredients taught in this series are designed to help get that 20% back!

Ingredient number 2: file systems, is a great way to start getting some of that 20% back.Office workers spend about 2 hours per day looking for stuff.

It’s not that the “stuff” is always lost. That’s just the time it takes to retrieve the information we’re looking for.My goal has always been to halve the amount of time required to retrieve information – thereby saving about an hour per day!

3 guiding principles to consider when creating or evaluating effective file systems:

1. The information can be filed quickly and easily.
2. The information can be retrieved quickly and easily.
3. Space is not a limitation.

3 types of files:

1. Active: Files that support current projects, customers, tasks.
2. Reference: Files that provide general reference information that’s not specifically related to any one project, customer, task.
3. Archive: Files that are not referenced, but kept for good reasons (legal, Complete project files that may be could be used as templates)

3 tips for paper file management:

1. Consider location. Active folders should be the easiest to access.
2. Use Straight tab filing. (Read More Here)
3. Add pull dates to files. (Read More Here)

3 E-file management tips:

1. Have the fewest number of folders possible.
2. Use numbers to force prioritize your most used folders to the top of the file directory. (Read Tip Number 6 of This Article)
3. Use a desktop search tool as THE primary way you retrieve information on your computer. (Read More Here)

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