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help needed...lost without my hanging files

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  • help needed...lost without my hanging files

    Sorry for this newbie question,

    but why the heck did I get rid of my hanging files? Don't get me wrong, I ttrust the GTD system, but now my folders are flopping all around and I can't read what's on them at a glance. It just seemed so much easier when I could clearly see all labels at once, rather than digging for files. I know I should be better about alternating the 'handedness' of the file (right tab, left tab, center tab, repeat) but usually i just grab whatever's there - then i realize i have 6 right handed files in a row and can't read the back five.

    wow, any help with this very silly problem would be most appreciated.


  • #2

    Two things:

    + Use the hanging folders if you like. I do.
    + Buy the straight cut file folders. Eliminates the left, center, right problem and gives you room for more descriptive labels.


    • #3
      I follow David's advice and use hanging files without labels. Then I put a paper file in each one (one paper file per hanging file). It keeps things neat and orderly and you still get the benefit of easy-to-make files.



      • #4
        great tips

        thanks for the good tips - anyone out there not using hanging files, and not having this problem? (Scot - i'm happy to use the one file per folder technique, i'm just wondering if other people have faced down the problem without them.


        • #5
          i got rid of my hanging files and was really keen to do the system the way the book recommends but i found that they were always falling over unless they had the support up hard against the very last file - problem was that it had to be so tight against it that i could not very easily get into the files to file anything!!
          i reluctantly returned to hanging files and use one per file - i can see that you are able to fit less in this way but i couldn't make the first way work no matter how hard i tried.
          don't stress too much about HAVING to do it the book way - if it works it works, if not .... do the next best thing!!
          cheers Helen


          • #6
            I got rid of my hanging folders and am much happier. Having said that, I also bought a new file cabinet at the same time that had solid sides on the drawers. I always found that the cabinet with half sides on the drawers and a rod at the top ripped up my folders when the folders rubbed against the top bar.

            Using plain file folders and adjusting the back plate of the drawer as needed I find that the system works reasonably well. I can fit more in a drawer because I don't have the extra thickness the hanging folders take and I can make new folders more quickly.


            • #7
              Good and Bad of hanging folders

              There are certain reference and clerical situations in which they work well. It is hard to explain but I think they work best when you have a single drawer for a certain category or subject and defined/limited subjects. The hanging folders would not work well or be worth the time in something like my general file in which I am always adding and removing categories. Regardless, it is essential that they be in the right kind of rack and not fall out, that you not over stuff and that you decide if a regular folder will go inside and thus where and how you will label. Here are some good applications: we have a drawer for maps and travel info--each state has a hanging folder, each region, and each country that we have been too or think we will go to, also has a hanging folder. This is a reference system that has worked for us for 20 years plus. Why does it work? I think because we put things in more often than we take things out, when we take things out we want everything in one file and we know what heading we are looking for in either action. Another good use: in my office we use a lot of forms for cusotomers in different combinations. Hanging folders work great for this--each type of form has its own hanging file. Every now and then we might add or change a form and it gets new hanging folder. Why does this work?Maybe the homogeneity of the items within each folder and the cohesivemenss of the whole drawer. The main work within this file is retrieval. I guess, I would say that hanging files work when the action is either mainly collection or mainly retieval of materials that fall easily into pre- defined and limited categories.


              • #8
                filing questions

                This thread made me think that you folks may be able to help. Does everything go in to the A-Z or do you seperate out your project files from reference stuff? I have an A-Z at home and at work the home one seems to be working fine but I am not so sure about the work one. I have project and reference mixed. Should I seperate?

                Any help is appreciated.



                • #9

                  please read:



                  • #10

                    Thanks. I guess my head is so full I cannot see the forest for the trees. I knew I got this idea from somewhere besides the fact that things just weren't working. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

                    Also, like to point out that the ligtht bulb went off on the folder type (not using 1/3 or 1/2 cut) someone had mentioned earlier -- it's not rocket science, but sometimes I feel like it is.

                    Have a great day.