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How to Set up an Effective Filing System

How to set up an effective filing system
American Folder Company

The importance of record-keeping and filing systems cannot be too
highly stressed. A well-planned system contributes significantly to
efficiency of operation as well as to a company's image. Whether
records are filed in a computer or in a steel cabinet, they have to be
readily accessible.
Make a study of your system. Conducting such a study is no more than
taking an inventory of the records in your files.

Some of the questions you should ask are:

What are the records
Where should they be filed
Who uses the records
How often are they used
How are they used
How are the records referred to
What is the size of each record
How many of each record are filed
Who else has copies of the same record

Also check if your filing system shows any of the following symptoms:

You find the information you need is difficult to obtain due to your
system or lack of one
You are repeatedly having to expand your file system capacity
You are maintaining duplicate files of the same information
You are filing material to protect the function and not because of
information or legal requirements
You are using your filing system or equipment for non-records storage
Your file folders are too full for easy access
Your filing drawers or shelves are too full for easy access
You are not finding the information you require in the first place you look
Your analysis is now complete - your records inventory reveals the
strengths and weaknesses of your record-keeping system.

Once you have analyzed your records inventory, you should determine:

Best arrangement of the records
Type of media to be filed (paper, microfilm etc)
Proper equipment for adequate storage and retrieval
Proper systems to complement the equipment
The required record retention schedule and facility

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