Setting up a new filing system




Getting Started – Setting up a new filing system

Designing your Filing System

  1. Perform an audit of all existing files or documentation.
  2. Set up a File Plan Management system with policies and procedures.
  3. Identify files according to retention periods to ensure you can perform regular archiving of old or obsolete information.
  4. Never open a GENERAL file.
  5. Ensure your files are indexed according to the specific content you wish to file.
  6. Always give the content a refrence to a specific subject E.g. Content – Kleine & Kleine. Subject Heading – Legal Contract.
  7. Ensure files are filed either according to an alphabetic (by name) or numeric (by number) refrence system.
  8. Decide on where you will be filing your documents.
  9. Create centralised filing areas.
  10. Eliminate duplication share information where possible.

Filing your Documents

  1. Once your filing system has been designed, create an Index of Files Opened or a Hierarchy of Files.
  2. Display this index at your filing cabinet.
  3. Ensure appropriate filing stationery for the size and the volume of your documents. Investigate your options and understand each prodcut.
  4. Use labels to index files according to various subject headings.
  5. Labels should be clearly identified either in writing or printing.
  6. For large document, open a 2nd or 3rd volume of a specific file.
  7. Sub-divide inside the file if the content deals with more than one subject.
  8. Keep private& confidential information in a seperate filing system.
  9. Use space wisely – do not overfill filing cabinets, allow for growth.
  10. Filing should be kept in secure, lockable filing cabinets or rooms.
  11. Alwyas elevate filing of the ground, to avoid water damage.
  12. Ensure adequate lighting and circulation, neatness will ensure a more efficient filing environment.
  13. Wash hands regularly and wipe all work surfaces.
  14. PLan and do your filing daily to avoid work overload.
  15. Treat your filing system, file plan and audited hierarchy’s with care as this is your map to finding information, fast.

Retrieving Documents

  1. Implement a system to monitor files that have been removed. Example: insert an index sleeve/card to show which file has been removed, with the staff name and expected return date.
  2. Keep a database of all personnel accessing files.
  3. Once a file has been used, file back into your system within 24 hours.
  4. Train all users of the filing system regularly.
  5. Only collect the necessary files from your filing cabinet for the task at hand.





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