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Project files and reference files separate or not?

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  • Project files and reference files separate or not?

    Re-reading the book talks a lot about the hard edges of the various pieces.

    Do people extend that to paper based filing systems and keep a hard edge between files with support materials for projects (whether current or someday maybe) and files of reference material?

    I'm slowly weeding out useless stuff in my file cabinets and wondering if I ought to keep the project files in a separate drawer from general reference files and historical information.

    What do you do and why?

  • #2
    Everything in one place

    I keep it all in one place. Anything I'm actively working, and need on a day to day basis goes in a basket on my desk, so I can quickly access the file, but other then that... They all go in one place.
    I might change that if I was running out of file cabinet space near my desk. In that case, I might put the least used reference material farther away from my chair. I would also put a small laminated card on those files, and put the date on them. Every time I used them for reference, I'd change the date. then when I purge those, I can get rid of anything that hadn't been used in a year.


    • #3
      I have them separated for one single reason (that is admittedly more about emotions than function): project support is in constant flux, reference is static. By separating them I can have reference in perfect order all the time. This would not be the case with a mingled file cab with all the constant flow and go of project support materials.


      • #4
        I also have them separated. For projects I use a nice file drawer in my desk. The reference material is a little further away.


        • #5
          I keep pretty much everything in file folders. I also have a few binders for my personal notes (8.5x11 pages of journalling, brainstorming, etc.). Some of those personal notes could technically go in my filing system, but it makes more sense to me to keep them in the binders.


          • #6
            I keep all of my reference files and support materials in one filing system. However, I do keep a vertical file sorter on my desk where I put files (mostly support files) that I'm actively using so they are immediately at hand (no drawers to open).