- Setting up a new filing system
Setting up a new filing system
Getting Started – Setting up a new filing system
Designing your Filing System
- Perform an audit of all existing files or documentation.
- Set up a File Plan Management system with policies and procedures.
- Identify files according to retention periods to ensure you can perform regular archiving of old or obsolete information.
- Never open a GENERAL file.
- Ensure your files are indexed according to the specific content you wish to file.
- Always give the content a refrence to a specific subject E.g. Content – Kleine & Kleine. Subject Heading – Legal Contract.
- Ensure files are filed either according to an alphabetic (by name) or numeric (by number) refrence system.
- Decide on where you will be filing your documents.
- Create centralised filing areas.
- Eliminate duplication share information where possible.
Filing your Documents
- Once your filing system has been designed, create an Index of Files Opened or a Hierarchy of Files.
- Display this index at your filing cabinet.
- Ensure appropriate filing stationery for the size and the volume of your documents. Investigate your options and understand each prodcut.
- Use labels to index files according to various subject headings.
- Labels should be clearly identified either in writing or printing.
- For large document, open a 2nd or 3rd volume of a specific file.
- Sub-divide inside the file if the content deals with more than one subject.
- Keep private& confidential information in a seperate filing system.
- Use space wisely – do not overfill filing cabinets, allow for growth.
- Filing should be kept in secure, lockable filing cabinets or rooms.
- Alwyas elevate filing of the ground, to avoid water damage.
- Ensure adequate lighting and circulation, neatness will ensure a more efficient filing environment.
- Wash hands regularly and wipe all work surfaces.
- PLan and do your filing daily to avoid work overload.
- Treat your filing system, file plan and audited hierarchy’s with care as this is your map to finding information, fast.
- 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.
- Keep a database of all personnel accessing files.
- Once a file has been used, file back into your system within 24 hours.
- Train all users of the filing system regularly.
- Only collect the necessary files from your filing cabinet for the task at hand.