During this webinar, Anne discussed the basic concept of Paper Tiger to organize both paper files and other physical items of which you need to keep track so that you can find them when you need them, and the concept of Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs to organize and find your digital files. She demonstrated how to use Digital Tiger more effectively for digital filing, in addition to the following to show how to use Paper Tiger with Digital Tiger, so you can get organized and be more productive.
Find Anything In Your Office In 5 Seconds or Less…Guaranteed! Watch the webinar to learn more.
As information, Anne is a professional speaker, productivity expert, professional organizer and author. If you want to learn more about Anne and her services, please visit her website at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com.
She may be in Colorado (and sometimes in Arizona!), but she’s nationally recognized as an expert and works with people throughout the US in person and virtually.
You can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303 881-0174.
See more information here on Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management
Q: What type of scanner does Anne recommend?
A: Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500 and we have more information in our knowledge base which you might find helpful at http://www.thepapertiger.com/support/articles.php?id=20240901&catId=20008411
Q: Is it difficult to add more items to an existing location after it is set up? For example, if I have 20 items in action location, then I need there to be 30, is this difficult to change?
A: No, not difficult at all. You would simply click the Locations box, then click to edit the Location that you need to increase the capacity, and you’ll be able to input 30 in the capacity box and save.
Q: I am a faculty member at a university and have many files that I use for multiple purposes or classes etc. I may have a file that I use for 2 different courses and 2 different writing or research projects. Any suggestions?
Q: Would I or could I keep the folder tab labels as is, in addition to the Paper Tiger labels? For example, my cell phone folder is currently “AT&T cell” – and so I would add whatever label Paper Tiger assigns – such as “Reference 1″?
A: You can keep both labels if you like on each hanging file folder, but yes you would need to match the label that Paper Tiger assigns when you index the file in Paper Tiger’s database. In your example, you would have 2 tab labels on your hanging file folder. One tab would be entitled AT&T cell and the second tab would be Reference 1.
Q: I have a couple of file drawers that “work” – that I want to keep more or less as is. I suppose I would call them reference files – they are mainly files that I file paid bills from our vendors, or keep correspondence from my office landlord, or to access (paper) forms/worksheets that we need every so often. Would I start by clearing this file drawer out, then enter them into Paper Tiger and file them back into the same drawer? Also, as I pay each bill, say my cell phone bill, I don’t want to have to enter that into the system or look anything up on the computer – I just want to file it. Can I do it that way or do I need to enter each bill as I pay it? (Am I over-thinking this?)
A: I think you are over-thinking this. Yes, you can index each file folder that you currently have in your file drawers. Depending on the location of your file drawers, will depend on if you need to take them out to index them. Base that decision on convenience more than anything. For example, if you’re indexing file drawers in your desk, you can just take it 1 folder at a time indexing as you go. For your cell phone bill, simply file it in the hanging file folder that you already have set up for your cell phone bills, and there wouldn’t be any reason to add anything to Paper Tiger at that point for the new bill you’re putting in file, unless you want to add a note about a specific month.
Q: Is there any recommendation for how often we should stop to print file tabs and create new file folders, i.e., as you need them or at the end of the day, etc.?
A: It is recommended that you print file tabs for each Location for as many as you want to have ready to be filed into. For example, you might print file tabs for 50 to begin with, go ahead and insert the file tabs in the plastic file inserts and affix onto the hanging file folders. You now have 50 ready to file into. When you have filed into 40, increase the capacity of this Location to 75 or 100, then print file tabs for 51-75 or 51-100. This way, you won’t have to keep printing and inserting tabs everyday.
Q: Is it recommended that the Paper Tiger filing system can be used for “organizing tasks” that aren’t paper-based and don’t require paper to be put into folders…just organizing “actions”?
A: Yes, you can do organize anything that you can put a number onto or just make notes in the database, which will allow you to search for the “action” later. We have used Paper Tiger for ideas, so it would work just as well for organizing tasks or actions.
Q: I love Paper Tiger, but find some of the moves are non-intuitive such as the use of confirmation to get rid of trash or to transfer.
A: You can choose to require a confirmation when using the Transfer function, or you can say No that you do not want to require confirmation. You would check the radio button to require confirmation while transferring the item.
Requiring confirmation will allow you to print out a Transfer Report prior to Confirming so that you can verify the location the item will be moved to or have your assistant physically move the item(s) by checking off the report, then check Confirm in Paper Tiger to affirm the job has been completed.
Q: Did you have to physically move the folder?
A: Yes, when you transfer an item from one Location to another in Paper Tiger’s database, you will need to move the physical item (the paper files or other physical item), to match the item number in Paper Tiger where it has been moved to in the database. So you take papers out of the hanging file folder and leave folder behind and it becomes open. Keep file folder in place. Otherwise what you’re organizing by indexing into Paper Tiger will be compromised, and when you search in Paper Tiger, the item will not be in the correct location.
Q: What if you don’t use hanging files, such as manilla file folders?
A: You would simply use the same concept of applying the labels to your manilla folders instead of the hanging file folder plastic tabs.
Q: What happens when you complete activity and want to move to another location
A: You would conduct a Transfer, Move function. See our knowledge base article at http://thepapertiger.com/support/articles.php?id=141137&catId=230
Q: Do you have anyone on your staff or are you aware of any clients who have successfully interfaced and implemented the concepts introduced in David Allen’s book entitled, GETTING THINGS DONE- The Art of Stress-Free Productivity? He puts forth a system for utilizing files and places to put things, etc.
A: Anne conducts a demonstration in this webinar, but we also have another demonstration by Michelle Panzlaff at Using Paper Tiger as a Getting Things Done (GTD) Task List Manager
Other comment: When I first started using Paper Tiger about ten years ago, I made too many locations and different files. In effect, I made more work for myself. It took awhile to simplify. I am now down to three or four.
Getting organized and staying organized with paper files can seem difficult for most people, and therefore many companies are opting to go to a paperless office to get organized. This type of filing system may get rid of most paper in your office to make your desk look organized, but it can also add countless hours of document scanning in order to keep files up to date. Then there is the problem of renaming and finding the digital files after they have been scanned. So, how do you keep up with paper and digital files so that you can actually find them when you need them?
Paper Tiger Filing System software is different. It does not require scanning, but with the new Digital Tiger feature in Paper Tiger Online, this document management system can help your office have less paper and be able to retrieve the documents at the time you need them, whether they are in hard copy paper file format or digital file format.
Paper Tiger allows you to organize files in just a few moments by indexing those paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format. Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs, is a free add-on with a paid Paper Tiger Online account (Basic and Pro plans for now), that allows you to connect your Paper Tiger Online account to your Google Docs account, then you will be able to search from one place to find both your paper/physical items and your digital files. The way Digital Tiger works is described on our web page at http://www.thepapertiger.com/digital_tiger.
To prepare for Digital Tiger, you can create, scan or upload your digital files to Google Docs format from your Gmail account. Google Docs is the online storage for your digital filing system. Again, Paper Tiger is for indexing the paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format and other items, such as passports, instruction booklets, or CDs, DVDs, Books, home or office inventory and/or storage, etc., that just can’t be scanned.
Once you have set up your Paper Tiger Filing System account, it is time to start filing and organizing. It doesn’t matter how many files you have, Paper Tiger Filing System software can help you to get organized. We even provide tips and helpful hints and online video training for free to help you get started. For instance, we recommend starting with the files that you use the most and then adding a little more each day. Deciding with each file whether you need to keep it in hard copy file format or if you can scan and shred it. Before you know it, you will have a document management filing system that works and makes sense.
For the paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format and other physical items, first you will create a ‘Location’ within the software’s database which will coincide to your physical location. Then, you decide how many folders or items you want in this Location. You can add more later if you need to. In the database, each row corresponds to a hanging file folder* in your desk drawer, file box, or filing cabinet. You set up numbered folders in advance (“Reference 1, Reference 2,” etc.), by printing tab labels from the software for this location and placing the tabs in your hanging folder plastic tabs. Once this is done, you type in information relating to each document in the database file location.When you file something, you type in a primary name in the database’s Item Name section, such as “Car Insurance.” Then you have a keyword field for all of the phrases you can think of that relate to that set of papers (“Honda, State Farm, Auto, Vehicle,” etc.)
You can give the document any name you want without any worry about finding it later because the keywords you type in that describe all documents that you put in your hanging file folders will work much like a Google search later when you need to find a file. Now, place your document (or documents relating to the same subject) in the corresponding hanging folder. Just like that, your filing cabinet is organized without all the extra time of scanning, electronic storage space and hassle that scanning presents. For documents that you want to add to the same file, simply edit the Item and add additional keywords necessary that relate to the new document(s) being filed. As you can see in the file folder picture above, you can even sub-divide with manilla folders. We simply added keywords for each manilla folder in the respective item number in the database. For example, in Reference 10, there are manilla file folders and keywords for Fedex, UPS, USPS, sub-dividing documents relating to each shipping service, and the Item Name in Paper Tiger is ‘Shipping Information’.
When you need to retrieve a file later, you just conduct a Google-like search in the software database for the keyword you’re thinking it might be filed under, and it tells you which folder to grab. You can retrieve anything from your file drawer in just a few seconds, as fast as you could Google something.
*When indexing other physical items, each row in the database corresponds to the item being indexed.
* You can’t decide what to name something: Since you are normally limited to what fits on the little folder tab with traditional filing systems, you must be succinct when naming a file folder. Sometimes paper files simply defy classification and are very difficult to name, with many subjects represented in one article, for example. With Paper Tiger, you can keyword all of those things and you’re covered.
* You don’t like slowing down to make new folders when you need to file: Using this filing system software, you easily create numbered hanging folders in advance, so you can have as many open hanging folders sitting there waiting in your filing cabinet as you like. When it’s time to file, it takes a few seconds to just type an item name and keywords relating to the documents and drop them in the folder. Some people are uncomfortable seeing only numbers in their file drawer. If you think about it though, wouldn’t it be wonderful to not have to re-do labels when you change your mind about a folder? Or have to create a new label every time you need to file a new document. It’s a shift in thinking to realize that your papers are supposed to be randomly filed and like folders may not necessarily be physically next to each other, but because there is a printed file index report, it is something that is easy to overcome.
* You can’t remember where you filed something: Because of the keywording and searching, you no longer have to remember this kind of information in your head. You can find it in just a few seconds by searching in the filing system software database or looking at the file index that can be printed from the database.
* People sharing files who cannot read minds: If the filing system is in someone else’s head, and that person goes on vacation or has to be out for medical leave or worse yet, leaves the company, you can’t find anything. This system prevents people from being in the dark about where things are.
In addition to organizing the paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format, you can also organize other items with Paper Tiger Filing System software such as passports, office supplies, CDs, DVDs, books, home or office inventory, and items you have in storage, etc. See our Not Just For Filing Paper webpage.
Items are right where they should be and are easier to find and you’ll know where to put the items back when they need to be returned. This makes the Paper Tiger Filing System much more than just an office management system; it is a life management system to help you get organized and stay organized!
From the average household to a home based business to the person who is part or sole owner in a business outside of the home, we all generate tons of paper every year, building up in piles and stacks on our desks, in our file cabinet drawers and on top of various surfaces throughout the home or office. Things accidentally get thrown away because they just were not where they needed to be. Or, things get moved by one family or staff member while they are searching for their missing item causing someone else to have to go on their own seek and destroy mission when they need something that had originally been in that pile.
The need to manage paper documents is one that is more than just about organization, however. Paper can be a major problem in many households and offices because there are so many questions about it. What papers can be thrown out and which ones must be saved? How long do you have to save these papers? And worst case scenario, what will happen on the day you find out that you absolutely need one of those papers and you just cannot find it at all? Does ‘going paperless’ mean that you will get rid of all the paper in your life?
There are several different ways to manage and organize those paper documents. You can try to work out your own system, praying that you won’t forget your cross referencing system in the meantime. Or you can implement Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management and get organized in every area of your life — not just paper!
Now there are other products that claim they will get you organized fast and easy, eliminating all of that paper mess in the process. Some of them rely on a scanner. But, what do you do with the papers once you scan them? Do you want to throw them away or shred them? They are organized, technically because everything is neatly scanned in and digitally stored on the disc or hard-drive or in the cloud app, but what happens if you need one of those documents for a tax audit or to file an insurance claim? Is your disc or digital storage space searchable? Would you be able to quickly find what you’ve scanned?
There is also a product that has several pockets and files so that you can hold the papers that you generate for a week, but what happens at the end of the month when you move the old out and bring the new in?
Thankfully, there is a better organizing tool that allows you to file all of your papers and other documents in one easy to manage and easy to update paper filing system. Organization in the home, the office or the home office does not mean just papers all of the time – in fact, you can use this same system for other items, items that are just too big or bulky to be included in the other types of systems that require scanning.
The system does not rely on scanning or trying to consolidate all of your items into a small disc. You can keep some paper files and scan what you don’t need to keep in physical format. You know where things are by conducting a Google-like search based on your input and referencing it in the system database. It is important that your paper files that you keep in hard copy format, and other physical items, be indexed into the filing system, so that anything you want to find later can be retrieved quickly with a simple Google-like search in the database. Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management can help you get organized so that you can find what you need, when you need it – quickly!
And even better, Paper Tiger Online will soon be able to connect Digital Tiger to Google Docs which will allow you to search for both your physical paper that you’ve indexed and your digital files that you’ve scanned, uploaded or created in Google Docs! Yes, we recommend Google Docs for your cloud storage because it is the least expensive digital filing storage that you’ll find anywhere. You’ll be able to search for both physical items and scanned or digital files from one search. This will make your time management and productivity even easier to maintain!
This article by Denise Russos, Progressive Organizing Solutions and Paper Tiger Expert, gives us a great plan to conquer our clutter and paper filing problems! The Paper Tiger Document Management Software and Filing System (Paper Tiger Online or Paper Tiger desktop version) will help you accomplish this very efficiently and be able to later find what you’ve filed!
Conquering the paper issues in an office or home can be the most stressful part of getting organized. Everyone realizes they actually keep too many clothes, or too many pots and pans, or even too many of whatever it is. We’re just so afraid to get rid of the paper trails in our lives that we hold on to every slip of receipt, and every article we’ve ever wanted to read so we are overwhelmed with paper! I know what I’m talking about! Aunt Mary sent you a card! Uncle Jim sent a article on fly fishing! I can hear you now! “If I get rid of it, they are going to ask me for it or about it!”
This week I’ve been out of town working with a woman who is trying to get her papers in order. She is part of a large family corporation that owns a lot of land, ranches, oil fields, farms, etc. She is really great, but she is just like everyone else when it comes to paper. By the way, she is doing a magnificent job at the clearing out process and yesterday began the process of learning how to scan documents and enter them into her new centrally understood filing system! But I digress here. I will explain what this type of filing system is soon! Be patient.
It doesn’t matter if you are a one person family or a ten person family, you will have paper clutter. Clutter is postponed decisions. Everywhere you look some surface in your home or office is cluttered with papers that should have had decisions made about them the minute they hit your desk or counter top! So the first thing I want to address is your lack of habit!
Lack of habit is the cause of clutter. We have tendencies that say, I’ll get to it later. Only we don’t. So it builds up until we have to take entire days to do something that originally should only take a few minutes or an hour at a time to complete. This goes for other things than taking care of paper clutter, but we’ll stick to paper clutter management for now.
If I look around my home office, I can see trends that need improvement and I bet you can too. Little slips of paper my adult son left on the home computer desk that should have been thrown away. Or the fact that I went out of town for several days and now have an accumulation of mail on my desk to go through. Or that stack of magazines that only have one article in them I wanted to read. So as I go along, I do what I teach my clients to do. Reading that article is first, because I can certainly clear the space if I decide not to keep the article. I definitely will not keep the magazine!
As for the mail, which is the biggest contributor to paper trash in the household or office, it is next. I have to decide to file it for future decisions, act on it if it is necessary, or trash it.
While I was out of town I spoke with some ladies at the Millennium Hotel in Durham. Sweet ladies, but they were as mind boggled over what to throw away as the next person.
Keep these rules in mind!
The point here is that every piece of paper that comes into your home or office needs some type of Action. You only have three choices. Make them wisely and you will have less and less piles of paper and more desk real estate to use for important things!
A friend of mine, Stephanie Calahan said something recently on how long it takes to create a habit. It is generally accepted that it is a 21 day process. However, I agree with Stephanie that it can take up to seven weeks to create a sustainable habit.
Knowing what you have to do, and doing it are two different things. You know you need to get it under control. Clutter is a stress magnet and if you can get the clutter under control or gone forever, wouldn’t you? Reduce your stress, reduce your blood pressure, and try to enjoy a wonderfully new environment by becoming clutter free!
Original article posted: Making Your Filing System Work for You!
In this webinar, Anne McGurty, productivity expert of Strategize and Organize, conducted basic getting started with Paper Tiger Online functions, such as describing what is a Database , creating a Database, creating a Location, creating Items, printing labels for your items.
Then Anne continued by demonstrating the following, in addition to answering questions asked during the webinar:
-How to organize things other than paper files
-Filing items from her inbox
-Searching items, then editing
-How to Transfer to Move an Item, with an explanation of why and how to use Confirmation
-How to use the Cleanout Report and benefits
-How to Toss an item when it is no longer valid
-Using the Confirmation function when transferring or tossing an item
As information, Anne is a professional speaker, productivity expert, and author. If you want to learn more about Anne and her services, please visit her website at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com. She may be in Colorado, but she’s nationally recognized as an expert and works with people throughout the US in person and virtually.
You can contact Anne at email@example.com or by phone at 303 881-0174.
See more information here on Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management
Q: Does this work for non-paper things also?
A: Yes, absolutely. In this webinar, Anne demonstrated how to index your bank safe deposit box and a linen closet. Anne also suggested that you would be able to index moving boxes.
Q: Would this work with plastic totes also?
A: Yes, this would work for plastic totes, as well as a CD or DVD collection, craft supplies, books and any other item that you can put a number onto. For other ideas, see our Not Just for Filing Papers webpage.
Q: I am new to the position and have to do a major overhaul of the current filing structure (within Paper Tiger). What’s the easiest way to manage moving files around?
A: Anne suggested printing the Cleanout Report and going through each to decide if you want to Toss, Transfer or leave the file as is. Then perform the actions based on your decisions both physically and in Paper Tiger database.
Q: I purchased my version of Paper Tiger sometime in 2010. This version looks different than mine. Are there updates to keep up with the latest and greatest? If so, how do I obtain?
A: The version of Paper Tiger used in today’s webinar is Paper Tiger Online, which is our web-based version and it does not look exactly like the desktop version. If you have the desktop version, you will notice slight differences.
If you want to make sure that you have the latest build in the desktop version 4, you can go to Help at the top menu and drag down to Check for Updates. Then select your current build and Paper Tiger will let you know if there are later builds than what you currently have. Our latest build if 4.1.28. (Note: if you do not know your current build, you can find out by clicking Help at the top menu, then drag down to About Paper Tiger)
You can switch to the online version if you wish by purchasing a Pro account or one of the multi-user plans, then send us your database so that we can import it for you.
Below are the knowledge base links to show you how the multi-user plans look and work, i.e., inviting users and setting their permissions:
-Paper Tiger Multi-User Concept: http://support.thepapertiger.com/entries/248406-paper-tiger-multi-user-concepts
-How Do Permissions Work: http://support.thepapertiger.com/entries/247588-how-do-permissions-work
-Inviting a User to Your Account: http://support.thepapertiger.com/entries/246912-inviting-a-user-to-your-multi-user-account
-How to Set User Permissions: http://support.thepapertiger.com/entries/247601-how-to-set-user-permissions
-Collision Detection: http://support.thepapertiger.com/entries/248306-collision-detection
Q: Is there a difference in the online vs desktop applications?
A: The basic difference between the two versions is that with Paper Tiger desktop version:
- it is a one computer software program, meaning you can only access from one computer since it is a licensed downloadable software
- needs to be installed, is a Windows only software. Can only be used on Macs if installed on a virtual Windows program such as Parallels
- database is housed on that one computer, database secure only if the computer is secure
- customer responsible for backing up their database
-upgrades would need to be purchased when next version is available
Our developers tried to make Paper Tiger Online as close to the desktop version as possible, so that the look and feel wouldn’t be too much of a difference for our current users that wanted an online version.
In addition, the most prevalent features we have added to Paper Tiger Online are:
-accessible from any computer with an Internet connection, including Macs and devices such as iPad, iPhone, etc. (not tied to one computer and no installation)
-Because Paper Tiger Online is accessible from any computer with an Internet access, clients can find or file from anywhere.
-search result highlights the searched word
-ability to choose multiple items to either toss or edit the Action Date
-ability to create a new item in a selected item number
-dashboard shows a running log of changes/activity the user had made to their database
-we will be able to provide enhancements to the online version as they become available that are not possible with the current desktop version
-we automatically backup the databases every night on our secure servers hosted by Amazon Web Services
Q: If we have desktop version, can we upgrade to online version. What is the cost?
A: Yes, You can switch to the online version if you wish by purchasing a Pro account or one of the multi-user plans, which will be able to import your desktop version database. You can view current prices on our Pricing/Plans webpage.
In this article, Anne McGurty of Strategize and Organize, and a Paper Tiger Expert, describes the importance of maintaining your paper filing system especially for such events as tax time, plus she recommends Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management to make it happen. Register now for her next Paper Tiger Expert Webinar or view previously recorded webinars.
As I watch people during tax season, I am always amazed how frustrated they are with all the paperwork “they need to gather” and how they complain about all the time involved. It really doesn’t need to be that way. Having an efficient filing system in place now, will make things so much easier later.
While it’s fresh in your mind what a headache it has been, I ask you “isn’t it time to finally create a system?” Use this month’s tips to help you get some ideas on getting started. You are also welcome to register for my free webinar on how to use the tool of “Paper Tiger”.
Happy filing – paper and taxes!
Even with all the technology in our offices – computers, PDAs, email, internet – there is more paper being used these days than ever before. In fact, every year, the average U.S. office employee generates nearly 10,000 sheets of paper. We’re on paper overload!
Don’t let it take over your office — keep only that which you truly need. (Remember, 80% of what we file is never looked at again.) Resolve to deal with your paper files on a regular basis. Whether first thing in the morning, at the end of the day, or somewhere in between, set aside 30 minutes each day so you don’t end up with overwhelming piles.
For every piece of paper that you encounter, make an immediate decision to either toss it, file it, or act on it. Then, make time each day to file your “keepers.” Although it may not be your favorite task, filing as you go will probably take only a few minutes and will make your office life much less stressful and more productive. If you can’t act on the simpler papers right away, keep them in a “quick-task to-do” file, and deal with them regularly so they don’t pile up. For larger, long-term projects, put each one into a separate file folder. To minimize future paper clutter, don’t hit “print” unless absolutely necessary. Keep electronic files rather than hard copies.
WANT MORE INTERACTIVE CONVERSATIONS AND TIPS: See Anne’s blog
Anne McGurty is CEO of Strategize & Organize, a company devoted to training individual’s to be more effective with the tools and resources to be productive in their work environment.
If you liked this article, you’ll love Anne’s transforming productivity training and organizing products to help you organize your business — and yourself — ranging from productivity consulting for individuals and executives to small business coaching programs to keynote speaking (note this is a new website!) and corporate training programs to improve efficiencies in the workplace and improve productivity.
While Anne’s best known for her expertise in productivity and expert office organizing, her clients share that her biggest impact comes from her philosophy of “personalizing her programs to fit the needs of her clients so they can streamline more efficiently with existing processes” – ensuring to create a sustainable work environment. This, Anne says, is the most important key to bringing an individual to personal freedom with time and organization.
You can learn more about Anne and her services, programs, and products for small businesses at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com. For residential organizing services, please visit www.ResidentialOrganizing.com. To hire Anne as a speaker for your next event, please visit, www.AnneMcGurty.com.
Strategize & Organize
460 S. Marion Pkwy., #955B
Denver, Colorado 80209
In this webinar, we demonstrated basic set up instructions, including naming a Database, naming a Location, and printing labels. And Anne McGurty, productivity expert of Strategize and Organize, took us through her inbox and demonstrated how she indexes her incoming mail into Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management to answer the frequently asked question ‘how to get started using Paper Tiger.’ She also instructed on how to use Categories, how to Transfer an Item from one Location to another, and described the different Reports, including her favorite report, the Cleanout Report!
Whether you are a beginner or an experience user of Paper Tiger, you will receive tips and tricks to help you as Anne demonstrates how to use Paper Tiger more effectively.
Anne is a professional speaker, productivity expert, and author. If you want to learn more about Anne and her services, please visit her website at www.strategizeandorganize.com. She may be in Colorado, but she’s nationally recognized as an expert and works with people throughout the US in person and virtually. You can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 303 881-0174. Contact her to discuss a personal one-on-one plan customized just for you and your office to get organized and be more productive!
To learn more about Paper Tiger, visit www.thepapertiger.com
Q: Is PT case sensitive?
A: No, Paper Tiger search is not case sensitive.
Q: I see you didn’t put a category for every item. When do you add category? In what situation or when do you add category?
A: You do not need to add a Category for every item. You can add a Category in the instances when you might want a virtual view of files that are related even though they may be in different file drawers. See our knowledge base article at How do I use Categories in Paper Tiger? for more information.
Q: After you have entered the ITEM NAME, and you want to, can you change it to make them standard… i.e., 2011 in front of all items like Tax, Medical?
A: Yes, simply click the Edit button and you can change the Item Name. In this instance, Anne suggests that you might also input the original Item Name in the Keywords section because people think differently on different days.
Q: Can you receive email notifications for action dates and reminders?
A: Not currently, but we have this in the queue for our developers to consider for future enhancements.
Q: I have PT both at home and in my office. I would like to move to the online version. How do I convert?
A: Purchase a Paper Tiger Online Pro or one of the multi-user plans, then send your database to our tech support team for importing into your account. To send your database, you can simply go to the Support section of our website and click on the Paper Tiger Online link. The direct link to open a tech support ticket is http://www.thepapertiger.com/support/file_ticket.php?catId=230 and under #3, complete the necessary information and attach your database from there.
Q: Will each of these papers go into separate hanging file folders?
A: The paper files would go into separate hanging folders if they were not related. You can file all related documents into a single hanging file folder, and just add keywords to that Item Name Keyword section relating to the document(s) you are adding to that hanging folder.
Q: Do the action files include both “home” or personal items, as well as “business” items? Does it matter that they are comingled?
A: The decision to keep your home or personal items and your business items comingled or separate is entirely up to the individual. We suggest to keep it general at first, then tweak the way you file or index things into Paper Tiger as you see what will work best for you.
Q: Are the “action” files the same as the monthly tabs with daily folders behind them?
A: No, you are referring to a tickler system that is like a follow up system. In Paper Tiger, Action Files are files you use most frequently. There are two categories of Action Files:
Temporary Action Files are files of current projects or events that will come to an end, e.g., files on a new committee assignment or presentation notes for an upcoming meeting.
Permanent Action Files are files for tasks that require ongoing action, e.g., “Call,” “Pay,” and “Write.”
We found this document specific to Canadian record keeping for tax time from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and have posted in part below. Please review the entire document at Canada Revenue Agency, which contains information such as:
-methods and requirements of keeping records,
-what to do if you want to destroy records early,
-requirements for electronic record keeping including e-commerce,
-what additional records do corporations have to keep,
-in addition to other specific information.
Main site for CRA: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca
How long do you need to keep your records?
As a general rule, you must keep all of the records and supporting documents that are required to determine your tax obligations and entitlements for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year to which they relate.
The six-year retention period under the ITA begins at the end of the tax year to which the records relate. The tax year is the fiscal period for corporations and the calendar year for all other taxpayers. The rules are similar for GST/HST under the ETA, as well as for the EIA, the CPP, the EA 2001, and the ATSCA.
Records and supporting documents concerning long-term acquisitions and disposal of property, the share registry, and other historical information that would have an impact upon sale or liquidation or wind-up of the business must be kept indefinitely.
Note: The CRA may specifically require you to keep records for an additional period of time. If this is the case, you will receive details by registered letter or by a demand served personally by CRA officials.
The following are special situations:
■ If you file an income tax return late, keep your records for six years from the date you file the return.
■ Keep all your records necessary for dealing with a notice of objection or appeal until the notice of objection or appeal is disposed of and the time for filing any further appeal has expired, or until the six-year period mentioned above has expired, whichever is later.
■ When a non-incorporated business or other organization ends, the records have to be kept for six years from the end of the tax year in which it ceased to exist.
■ When a corporation is dissolved, the following records have to be kept for two years after the date of dissolution:
– all records and supporting documents to verify the tax obligations and entitlements; and
– all the additional records that corporations have to keep, as listed above.
■ When a corporation amalgamates or merges, business records must be retained as if the new corporation is a continuation of each of the original corporations.
■ The legal representative of a deceased taxpayer or trust can destroy the records after receiving a clearance certificate(s) to distribute any property under his/her control.
Note: To request a clearance certificate, complete Form TX19, Asking for a Clearance Certificate, and send it to your tax services office.
Why should you keep complete and organized records? You are required by law
You are required to keep complete and organized records as stated in the:
■ Income Tax Act (ITA);
■ Excise Tax Act (ETA);
■ Excise Act, 2001 (EA 2001);
■ Canada Pension Plan (CPP);
■ Employment Insurance Act (EIA);
■ Air Travellers Security Charge Act (ATSCA); and
■ Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 (SLPECA).
For further information go to www.cra.gc.ca/bt/fq-eng.html and view CRA videocasts at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/vdcsts/menu-eng.html
There are benefits for you
Complete and organized records will:
■ help you identify the sources of your income;
■ remind you of expenses you can deduct and tax credits you can claim;
■ make it easier for you to determine your taxes owing;
■ provide you with information on the past and present financial positions of your business or other organization;
■ help you make good business decisions;
■ assist you in getting loans from banks and other lenders;
■ help to prevent problems if we audit your returns; and
■ possibly help you in selling your business or bringing in new partners.
Consequences of not keeping adequate records
We may disallow expenses that you are unable to support.
Also, there are penalties if you:
■ do not keep adequate records;
■ do not provide CRA officials with access to your records, when requested; or
■ do not give information to CRA officials, when asked.
See Information Circular IC78-10, Books and Records Retention/Destruction, and GST/HST Memorandum 15.1, General Requirements for Books and Records, for more information on possible penalties and legal action.
Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management can help you get your records in order and then be able to find them when you need them! You can use the Action Date function to remind you when you need to take action on records, including when you need to move them out of the current year’s hanging file folders to an archived location, and then when you can purge them out of your files altogether. You can also note in Paper Tiger’s database how long you need to keep each file even if it is indefinite.
No matter when your tax deadlines are, it’s always a good practice to have your records in order so that you won’t have to do last minute scrambling looking for the documents needed to complete your taxes, and indexing your paper files in Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management is ideal to ensure you are able to find your files when you need them . It is estimated that people waste 150 hours per year trying to find lost information. How much of your time is wasted strictly around tax time?
Read this article by Deanne Kelleher of Kaos Group for tips on how to get organized for tax time and how to transition old tax files out to get ready for the current year filing system.
Tax Time Organizing
It’s time to get last year’s documents out of your filing cabinet, prep your tax information, and archive all pertinent paper work. If you are overwhelmed at the thought or not sure where to start just follow these directions and you will be well on your way.
1. Start with the right supplies from Staples or Office Depot or other office supply store
Tip: Stick to standard colours for all hanging files, sub folders and tabs until your filing system is fully functional. It’s much easier on the eyes and once it’s fully functional, you’ll know exactly how to use the colours to identify specific areas.
2. Allocate 2-3 hours in your schedule for annual transitioning. This includes sorting, purging, moving out last year’s files and inserting this year’s. However, if this is your first time, consider booking two sessions of two to three hours each.
3. Ensure that all invoices from the previous year have been filed in the appropriate sub folders.
4. Label each hanging folder with the appropriate folder name and put in a sub-folder with the same name and active year written on it. For example: my hanging folder tab says Dues and Subscriptions and the sub folder says Dues and Subscriptions 2010. This year’s sub folder will say Dues and Subscriptions 2011. [Note: Be sure to index you documents into Paper Tiger, which will allow you to conduct a google-like search in the database to be able to find the items you need quickly.]
5. Tabs can be positioned to the far left or far right on each hanging folder to allow for easy retrieval and a smooth appearance.
6. Office Expense headings will commonly include: Auto, Dues and Subscriptions, Communications (land line, cellular, & internet), Meals and Entertainment, Office Supplies, Professional Services, and Utilities if you are home based.
7. Office Document headings will include: Bank Statement, Bank contract/communications, Business License, Government HST, Tax Receipts, Marketing, Advertising, etc.
Click here for more file name suggestions: http://www.kaosgroup.com/downloads/FilingSuggestions.pdf
8. You are now ready to remove last year’s expenses and place them into a large envelope or banker’s box. Be sure to clearly label the box. [Note: If you already have your documents indexed in Paper Tiger's database, you can perform a Transfer function to move the previous year's file folders to Archives, and still be able to search the database to find the documents again should you need to.]
This system will not only ensure accurate tracking of all business documents, but it will also allow you to easily transition next year and effortlessly compile pertinent tax information for this year.
Deanne Kelleher is the founder of kAos Group, author of the Core Four™ System and a motivational speaker and facilitator on the realities of disorganization and how to take the reins back. kAos Group works with clients to help identify inefficiencies – the clutter and disorganization that prevents professional and personal growth – and help clients streamline their business and personal lives to reduce stress, increase profits, and create more time.
Visit www.kaosgroup.com/olm for practical tips and motivation to organize your home, office, time and spirit.
Copyright © 2011 Deanne Kelleher
Reprinted with permission
This article by Stephanie Calahan, of Calahan Solutions and a Paper Tiger Expert provides us with numerous tips to get organized and get our life in order. I’m sure this will give you a clue as to the caliber of life coaching that Stephanie provides her clients. These tips include paper filing systems, getting organized in every area of your life, financial management, and getting your health in order. Stephanie recognizes, as we do, that different people need different tools to help with their daily lives. She lists different paper filing systems below, including Paper Tiger Document Management Software and Filing System, which she recommends based on her clients’ needs and the way that they work. She understands that every person is different and requires systems that work for them.
It is hard to believe that it is already January! It is Get Organized Month and now is a great time to focus on your personal affairs. Rather than rushing in April to make sure that all of your paper work is in order, do it now and start off the year with a kick!
It is interesting to me that many entrepreneurs and business owners spend the majority of their time completely consumed by their business and totally neglect their personal affairs.
Many of my clients contact me to get their business organized, yet when we talk, they often admit that their personal affairs are as much of a “mess” or more than their business. They do not have systems for handling their most important areas of life. Their household papers are everywhere…piled in various corners and flat surfaces around the house. They are not sure where their hard-earned money is spent and they don’t have solid plans for the future.
Its true that they are busy. VERY BUSY! However, sometimes they are so busy that they lose focus as to why they started their business, doing what they do, in the first place. When I ask “Why did you start your business?” I generally hear it is because they wanted more freedom to live a life they define. They wanted to make more money so that they have the ability to have more choice in life.
If you do not have your personal life in order, you may not be getting all of the benefits from your hard work! Now is the time! Now is the time to let go of the excuses that you don’t have time, are too tired or don’t know how. Here are a few tips to get started:
Your paperwork likely consists of three types of paper: 1) stuff you need to take action on 2) stuff you are saving for reference and 3) stuff that you should have tossed a long time ago, but haven’t.
This is the system that manages all of the papers that are on your counters and other spaces that you have out in the open and in piles because you don’t want to forget to do something. Then use the system. Read, sort and process your email and snail mail daily. Avoid backlog. Also, when you come across papers that are date driven, make sure to add an entry to your calendar/planner to remind you to do things. This system is the perfect location to store all of the bills you have yet to pay.
Did you know that the average person wastes 150 hours a year just looking for things? Imagine what you could do if you weren’t searching! An effective reference system is one that you use consistently because you trust it. You trust it because it is easy to use and you can find information with ease when you need it. Different systems are going to work better for different people, so make sure you set up something that works for you. This system is a great place to store all of the bills you have paid. Here are a few for you to consider:
If you would like to go paperless with your home filing, this is definitely the tool to consider! I have the honor of being on the advisory board of AboutOne and I love how this company really listens to your needs. AboutOne was designed by moms and dads for moms and dads to make managing all that household information fast, fun, and easy. With just a few clicks, your information is stored with bank-level security, and all your posts can then be combined or mixed together in new ways, saving you time on everyday chores like creating family newsletters, scrapbooks, hardcover photo albums, and creating and mailing holiday cards, or completing school forms, college applications, caregiver instructions, and tax returns. I personally LOVE how easy it is to manage all of the complex medical information we have in our family. AboutOne.com’s patent-pending service takes just seconds of your time and helps you save time, save money, and be prepared. You can sign up for a trial account here: http://www.aboutone.com/.
I have been a happy Paper Tiger user for years. If you don’t want to go paperless, but you want an easy way to find anything in 5 seconds or less, then this is the tool. The tool gives you a powerful index search — like how you would search on Google — that allows you to find your information fast. However, you can use this tool for much more than filing paper! Anything that you can number you can put into the system. At home, we have “paper tigered” books, CDs, DVDs, binders, storage bins, and more. We love this tool because it does not matter how different my husband and I might reference information (for example, I might say Insurance-Car and he might say Country Insurance) we can find things with ease using the fast find button. Your information is secure and backed up too. You can sign up for a free Paper Tiger Online account here: http://www.findinfiveseconds.com
If you like the idea of a color coded system, then you might consider the FileSolutions Home Filing System. The Home Filing System includes a booklet to guide you through the filing process by helping you select the appropriate files for your home. You can build 80-100 files for your home & family items using the pre-printed, color-coded labels for both vertical files and 1/3 cut file folders. The categories include: Personal, Financial, Taxes/Insurance, and Lifestyle. In addition, file your important papers & find them again using FileIndexTM. With this unique system, you can index over 350 items. It will be the first and last place you look when you (or another family member) need to find something. Note, folders & hanging files not included. This tool is great for simple household filing. Consider one of these great paper systems from OrganizedAtoZ.
80 percent of what we keep, we never reference again. I see that theme repeat itself over and over again when I work with clients and help them through their decisions. If you have a hard time figuring out what to let go, consider using the DART system. If you would like a summary of what to keep and what to let go of for your home, get our Residential Record Retention guide.
If you are looking for a simple money management system, consider www.mint.com . This tool is very user friendly and allows you to know exactly what is going on with your finances. You can set budgets and alerts that email you when you are off track. You can also get very user friendly graphics to show you where your dollars are going.
If you have an iPhone, you will also love this app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-com-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8
It goes without saying that debt can be a weight that draggs you down for the length of time you have it. For some, they spend more time thinking about the mounting debt than time on getting things done. Eliminate your debt. The most popular method for revolving debt is the debt snowball method. There are many sites and smartphone aps that can help you with this. Many of them let you prioritize debts and see estimated times left to pay off each debt. They let you plan payments and view progress as you shrink what is owed. Many will also estimate the date you will be debt-free, so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was reading an article on Mashable.com the other day that suggested this one was one of the better ones on the iPhone.
Most banks now have the ability to set up automatic bill paying. Consider setting up automatic payments for all of your regular bills. Your bills will be paid on time and you will save loads of time.
By reviewing your situation on a regular basis, you are able to stay on top of any problem areas and make strategic decisions quickly.
There are a number of outstanding professionals in your local area or on the internet that share helpful information on wealth creation. Attend classes or read books. Become informed. The better knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to make decisions and have confidence to take action. Here is a great article on CBS about Organizing Your Finances in 5 Days: How to Quickly Get Your Financial House in Order in 2011.
We hear this all of the time, but it still holds true. Do you have some medical concerns that you have been ignoring? Find a professional that can help you get better. Need to eat better or exercise more? Create a system to make it happen. The healthier you are, the easier it is to manage every day activities. The longer you let “small” medical concerns slide, the faster they can become “big” medical things that tax you, your family, and your finances.
“The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.” ~ P.T. Barnum in The Art of Money Getting
There are a number of sites that are all over the net to help you and a nutrition/exercize coach can also make a huge impact. Here are a few iPhone apps that could be of benefit too: Get in Shape: iPersonal Trainer or FitnessFree or CrunchFu. If you would like to quit smoking try: Quitter or MyQuitCoach.
If you take control of your personal concerns, you will have more confidence and peace of mind that the right things are happening. It is important to learn how to manage your time effectively and get organized so that you can focus on the most important things in your life. If you don’t, you will not be any further ahead next year.
One of the sayings that floats around frequently are:
Some people make things happen
Others watch things happen
Still others say “what happened”?
Who do you choose to be?
If you’re not sure how to get your business or life organized so that you free up your time, make more money and experience life, I encourage you to take action and contact us for a telephone strategy session. Why be time-pressed and struggle when you can easily get more done with less stress?
Comment and Share!
I know you have some great ideas too. Please leave your comment below or at Stephanie’s original blog post ‘Start the New Year off with a New Focus on Your Personal Affairs’
©Stephanie LH Calahan (AKA StephCalahan) is a dynamic entrepreneur, nationally known speaker, media personality, author, publisher; productivity/organization consultant, and business coach. She understands that every person is different and requires systems that work for them. As the founder and CEO of Calahan Solutions, Inc., she and her consultants focus on conducting presentations, personal coaching, assessments and productivity/organizing services for entrepreneurs & time pressed professionals. Learn more: www.CalahanSolutions.com or www.ProductiveAndOrganized.net, or call 309.826.5263.
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Copyright 2007-2010 Calahan Solutions, Inc. — All Rights Reserved
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As we’re approaching the end of the year, it’s time to take a day and do what is called “the file clean out day”. Once you know what you have, you can make decisions on what to purge, save, and possibly scan or archive.
Are you asking yourself, “what’s going on here?”. Consider what shape your filing system is in? Are your filing drawers stuffed so full that it’s nearly impossible to get another piece of paper into – or out of them? Are you hurting your knuckles every time you pull a file out? This time of year is a great time to review your files and purge as much as possible, creating space for next year’s papers.
If you’re using Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management, it’s pretty easy, as all you need to do is run a “file clean out report” and review it to assist you in the process. Don’t use Paper Tiger? Here’s what you can do to get through all your old papers and prepare yourself for the new year. Then implement Paper Tiger so that this process will be simpler next year!
You can run maintenance programs which can ‘defrag’ your files – in other words clean up and arrange them in a way which makes it easier for your PC to find and the speed for running programs will be improved.
Empty your recycle bin. When you delete a file, you are only moving it to the Recycle Bin. If you do not regularly empty your Bin, the files inside may take up valuable disk space. Oftentimes, people overlook this task. You should empty your Recycle Bin regularly, at least once a week. So if you haven’t been doing it, add it to your file clean out day.
Remove Temporary Files. Temporary or junk files are left over by programs and are usually no longer needed. Internet Explorer stores many of the files used on the web pages you visit so that next time you go to a site it doesn’t have to download the same files again. However, this can build up over time and take up a lot of disk space. They waste space and that may eventually slow your PC down.
Do you clean out your files every year? Let us know your process in the comment section below or at Anne’s original blog post.
Anne McGurty is the president and CEO of Strategize and Organize, a Denver-based training and consulting firm specializing in helping people perfect their environments and make better use of their resources – time, paper, and all forms of information management. As a productivity expert, Anne provides extensive customized services including business consulting, productivity training, process implementation, and time management seminars. Follow Anne on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/stratorg
The bottom line for me as an entrepreneur is that using the Paper Tiger Filing System Software significantly reduces the amount of stress and anxiety in my life. When I discovered Paper Tiger, I discovered what it was that prevented me from filing papers away in a timely manner. You see, I’m a perfectionist, and every time I would sit down to do some filing, I was faced with the prospect of having to come up with the “right” way to label a file folder. Let’s say I wanted to file sales literature about a CRM company called Salesforce.com. Should I file it under the name of the company? Should I file it under CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which is the category name for this product, as a subject file? Should I file it under Sales and Marketing for my company, which is what I would use the product for, as a subject file? And where was the other information I had collected about this company? Because the real goal of filing is fast retrieval, I worried that the label name I came up with would not be the label name I remembered when it came time to pull this information out of the file to review it. That made me anxious, and it made me dread filing, so I rarely did it. And I lived in the midst of stacks of paper, unable to find what I needed when I needed it. Oh, the time I wasted looking for stuff I needed at the last minute!
Now I don’t feel any pressure to come up with the perfect name for my paper files. First, I can quickly and easily find out if there is any similar information I’ve already filed by using the search bar to look for CRM, Salesforce.com, Sales, Marketing, or other related terms. If there are already files I’d like to file it with, I can quickly do so by entering the any additional keywords relating to the new document going into the file, and then placing it into the hanging folder. If not, all I have to do is create a new file–perhaps with a general term like CRM–and add all of the keywords that I think I’d use to refer to it later, and I’m done. This little software program has had a profound impact on the quality of my life.
President & CEO
It’s the second decade of the 21st century, and never before has document management been so important. Having a superior filing system that can easily be accessed by everyone from the smallest business owner right up to the CEO of the largest corporation, as well as government officials and non-profit workers is vital. It’s the only economically sound way to keep a successful operation running smoothly, both now and well into the future. The Paper Tiger Document Management and Filing System Software provides the perfect solution.
Currently, it’s estimated that 75 percent of organizations outsource between one and five major office filing activities. These include document imaging, printing and copying, mail and shipping, fleet management and records management. A third of these organizations aim to outsource even more of these processes within the next two years. Some reports say that document imaging has the greatest impact on reducing cost and improving productivity, but document indexing has proven the most viable solution.
Leaders in the field continue to look for systems to manage the ever-increasing paper trail, from the document creation to file cabinet, then to archive or destruction. Many different people in various departments handle data contained within files, which means that tracking information is no longer the responsibility of a single employee.
All of this involves processes that are often regarded as cumbersome and annoying, especially when a large number of records are being stored, whether in paper or digital format. A specialized document management indexing system that combines all of these variables into one manageable, standardized process across all departments within an organization is the ultimate solution. Until now, the most logical means for locating such a system has been outsourcing.
Unfortunately, in many cases, there are problems with poor customer service and performance standards when document management is no longer handled in-house. Outsourcing can also lead to job losses, which isn’t healthy for a flourishing business.
The best solution for paper filing and document management, then, must meet the following criteria:
• the filing system must be user-friendly for everyone, from the daily temp to the CEO;
• free, all-encompassing training must be available for the document management software;
• all stored documents, including those in archives, need to be easily located;
• files must have the flexibility of being added to without undue fuss or hassle;
• a hard copy backup of all file locations and a master of the filing system index must be available in the event computers are offline;
• such a filing system must be economically viable for the company;
• the document management software must be upgradeable with advancing technologies;
• the software provider must have a solid track record of performance;
• the software itself must have a proven track record in widely different organizations and circumstances;
• the system must be capable of being fully integrated into the current filing system with a minimum of time and effort;
• work can be done in-house which reduces or prevents the need to outsource;
• the document management system must be flexible enough to operate in different countries.
The Paper Tiger Document Management and Filing System Software offers a revolutionary document management system that meets every requirement on this list.
This document management software is user-friendly and easy to master. The Paper Tiger standardizes document management and filing throughout an organization using a numerical indexing system, instead of the traditional alphabetical format where people can file things in all sorts of confusing ways.
Content is being created in more formats from more places than ever before. The Paper Tiger is flexible enough to handle any format a company might use. Although it won’t replace all of the filing work, it reduces the time involved in filing and document management considerably.
Because organizations are constantly working with strict budgetary guidelines, they’re always looking for ways to save money. The Paper Tiger is the perfect solution. It’s affordable, and because it streamlines paper filing, it uses resources more efficiently.
Today’s workplace is far different than what it was 20 years ago. Today, approximately 90 percent of company documentation is electronic. However, because records must be kept for an extended period of time, electronic and hard copy filing must be merged into one standardized, indexed system capable of handling both formats.
The Paper Tiger Document Management and Filing System Software is a true leader in the field of paper filing and document management and will continue to provide excellence for its customers as technologies and needs change, now and in the future.
Whatever your document management issues, Paper Tiger Document Management and Filing System Software is the ideal solution to help you control the paper flow in your company.
Some businesses have so many files that they must consolidate at times. They may have rules that state that files can be moved to basement storage periodically, to an offsite location, storage shed, or a corporate storage location. When this happens, how do you handle the filing on those still important, yet archived, files? Let’s consider…
1. Basement Storage
Whether you store your files in a file room, unused office, or a basement storage room, you need to keep track of them with your filing system. Some people may think you can’t use an indexing system with archived files, but that’s far from the truth.
Document management via an indexing system makes more sense now than ever because your files are farther away from your “regular” office space. This means you’d have to go further to find the files you need, which of course takes more time and creates added expense.
When you index archived files in remote storage areas, you’ll be able to search the Paper Tiger database to find where the file is located, then go right to the location, pull the file, and be able to get back to work with the file in hand. Then you can quickly return the file to the same location when finished.
An indexing system handles the information required so you know which files are in the basement or other storage area compared to the file room. There’ll never be confusion as to where a file is located with an indexing document management system.
2. Offsite Storage Location
Offsite storage locations can be different than other storage areas. The main reason being you don’t have the ability to easily browse where your files are in those storage facilities. Using indexing to manage your documents stored in an offsite location, you can manage these files the same way as any others. Note the location of the files, add keywords to help you index them and file as needed. The hardest task then will be beating the traffic in your drive to find a file.
3. Storage Shed or Unit
Some businesses use storage units either on location or within a locked gate at a different facility. With this type of storage, you’ll want to use shelves so archived file boxes aren’t directly on the floor. Shelves will protect the files and still allow you to use your indexing file system easily.
For best results, mark each shelf so you’ll know specifically where boxes are located. You can, of course, use file cabinets, but you might not want to purchase new cabinets when you move files to archived storage. Metal shelves will work just fine while still allowing you easy access to your documents.
4. Corporate Storage Location
At times when corporations have small divisional offices, they may not have the room to store archived files, and they don’t want to send them to an offsite storage location. In this case, those files may be sent to the corporate office for safekeeping.
When this happens you can use the same indexing system you’re currently using, even though the files aren’t in the same location. You manage it the same way you would with any other offsite storage location. Simply note the location, the box number and keywords in your index file and you’re good to go. Document retrieval is a cinch, regardless of where your files are stored.
One advantage with corporate storage is that you will typically be able to contact someone in the corporate office and ask them to send you any files you need without you having to make a trip to the office. With another offsite storage location, that wouldn’t work, of course.
At times businesses may run into storage problems and will need to move files around to accommodate space or a change in facilities. Using an indexing system for your document management needs will make this an easy transition and still allow you needed access to your files.
Whatever method you use to archive files, be sure and use the Action Date function in Paper Tiger to remind you when these archived files need to be pulled and destroyed based on your company’s records retention policy. If you don’t already have a records retention policy, see our ‘Retention Guidelines: How long should you keep records?‘ articles that might be helpful to you.
Try Paper Tiger Document Management and Filing System Software today and see for yourself!
This article below is a great source to get your filing cabinet(s) in order. Gina suggests a label maker, which is a fine resource, however if you use The Paper Tiger document management and filing system software, you can print your labels from within the software.
By Gina Trapani, 12:30 PM on Fri Feb 17 2006
One of the main clutter culprits in my home office is the “To File” pile – you know, that stack of paperwork that’s supposed to go into the file drawer at one point or another. Usually this pile spontaneously occurs right on top of the filing cabinet, which is pretty silly. I mean, instead of adding stuff to the pile, why wouldn’t I just file it? Turns out the sad state of my messy, overflowing filing cabinet is the reason for my blockage.
Sound familiar? Today we’re going to embark on a file drawer makeover for the overstuffed, under labeled filing system and turn it into a neat, breezy and dare I say pleasurable place to organize your important paperwork.
Give your paperwork a spacious place to live.
Let’s face it: we’re not in college anymore. That plastic file box or enormous binder held shut with a rubber band just ain’t going to cut it. You’ve got personal, financial, insurance, car, clients, tax and medical paperwork to track. If you’ve been using an undersized filing cabinet that just doesn’t have enough room to accommodate your stuff – or no filing cabinet at all – invest in a spacious, well designed file drawer or cabinet that leaves you room to spare. Lots of room. In fact, Getting Things Done author David Allen says your file drawer should be only three-quarters full. From page 99 of the GTD book:
“I know almost no one who doesn’t have overstuffed file drawers. If you value your cuticles, and if you want to get rid of your unconscious resistance to filing, then you must keep the drawers loose enough that you can insert and retrieve files without effort.”
If you’re out to buy a new filing cabinet, Allen says you shouldn’t skimp on quality.
“Nothing is worse than trying to open a heavy file drawer and hearing that awful screech! that happens when you wrestle with the roller bearings on one of those $29.95 “special sale” cabinets. You really need a file cabinet whose drawer, even when it’s three-quarters full, will glide open and click shut with the smoothness and solidity of a door on a German car. I’m not kidding.”
He’s not kidding. A tool that’s easy and fun to use is a tool you will use.
Allocate one file folder per hanging folder.
As soon as things start to get crowded inside filing cabinet land, your first instinct is to start putting several manila folders into one hanging folder. Bad idea. Allocate one single manila folder to one single hanging folder. This cleanly separates your folders and makes them easy to ruffle through them. (Allen recommends staying away from hanging folders completely; personally, I like them.) Keep a supply of both manila folders and hanging folders within reach so that creating a new one is as easy as possible.
Choose an accessible naming scheme.
You may be a plain old straight-up A to Z type person, but there are more ways than one to alphabetize file folders. My preferred method is to break things up into categories, like “Car,” “Client,” “Taxes,” “Bank Account” and preface a folder name with that word. For example, one folder might be “Car: Honda Accord” and another is “Client: Lifehacker,” and another “Bank Account: ING Direct.”
Whatever method you choose, make sure your system is obvious and consistent throughout your files to make retrieving paperwork as simple and thoughtless as possible.
Use a label maker.
When I first read Getting Things Done, the recommended tool I was most sure I didn’t need was a label maker. Boy was I wrong. Neatly labelled folders make a file drawer look sharp and accessible.
I used to write the name of my folder in pen or pencil or marker right onto the tab. When I wanted to reuse a folder, I’d put masking tape or white-out over the old label and write over it. What a mess that was – especially considering the downward path my handwriting has taken since I learned how to print in second grade. Making a label is fun and makes your folders look super-professional and easy to read. Check out the difference between written tabs and labeled tabs.
See? The Brother P-Touch Home and Hobby Label Maker gets the job done and it’ll set you back about 25 bucks.
Purge what you don’t need. Archive closed files.
Over time it’s easy for your filing drawer to get out of control and filled with stuff that doesn’t matter any more or that you simply don’t need on hand at all times. Be sure to purge your paperwork every few months of the irrelevant stuff, like user guides you can get on the web or for gadgets you no longer own, past project research and former employer paperwork. Archive old stuff you don’t want to get rid of but don’t need immediate access to into cardboard file boxes and put them in storage. Closed bank account records, old credit reports, and your 1996 taxes are good candidates here.
Article by Gina Trapani taken from Lifehacker.com