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How to File your Documents

April 27, 2018
How to File your Documents

Now that you’ve bought your filing cabinet, it’s time to get your documents from a cluttered mess into an organized structure. Although every company is different and therefore requires a unique system that fits their needs, a simple system that everyone can use will ultimately save the most time.

Saving time is one of the most important objectives for any company. Having a system that not only saves time by having employees file their own documents, but by making them easily accessible and retrievable by all is the best way to go.


The Systems


Coming up with a system that best suits your company’s needs is quite simple. Following are the two most commonly used filing systems and how they work. Once you have decided which is best for your company and the employees who will be using it, then you can start purchasing your supplies.




As the name suggests, this system organizes your files based on their names. This is best for companies that classify their files by names, such as client names, company names or project names. Simply file your folders in alphabetical order to make the searching process a lot quicker and more efficient.




Filing by codes or numbers is best for companies that deal more with bills and invoices than clients. This means that searching for documents always starts with either a reference number or account number instead of a name.


Your Shopping List


Before starting to organize your filing cabinets, you need to first make sure you have the right supplies at your disposal. Following are a few supplies you will need, as well as a few considerations of items that could be extremely useful.


Hanging File Folders

Needed to hold everything in place, ensure you get a size that will properly fit the file folder you choose to go along with it. The most frequently bought is legal sized, but this could vary based on the type of documents you will be filing.

Crites and Riddell’s Suggestion: EasyView Hanging File Folders


File Folders

An obvious must if you plan on getting any filing done. Coming in several different styles and colors, the most frequently used are basic manila folders in a legal size.

Crites and Riddell’s Suggestion: Divide-It-Up Multi-Section File Folders


File Folder Tabs

The best way for everyone to easily recognize and quickly see where each file is and what it contains. This is useful not only for details, but for helping to keep your files in an organized manner.

Crites and Riddell’s Suggestion: Reversaflex Moulded Rigid Tabs


Other Considerations


Other useful things to keep available, if your budget allows it, would be a paper shredder and a label maker. A paper shredder is one of the only proved way to securely dispose of important papers. A label maker will save you large amounts of time that would be spent on manually writing on every file to indicate what is inside.


Tips and Tricks


Unnecessary Documents


The first step in making sure your filing cabinet is organized and efficient is to ensure that there aren’t any unnecessary papers and documents taking up needed space. Unnecessary documents would include the following types:

  • Duplicated documents
  • Bills and Invoices that are over a year old
  • Bank and ATM receipts


Overfilling Files


After some time, files tend to start filling up fast. To avoid clutter that could create confusion or disrupt the order of your filing system, consider using multiple files for certain clients or codes that are used more frequently to keep your cabinet clear and organized.




Reduce the amount of paperwork flowing through the office by digitalizing as many documents as possible. Opt for offering your clients electronic bills and invoices whenever possible, keep electronic contracts and reports and use online payments instead of checks. This will minimize the amount of paper being dealt with and ultimately free up space in your filing cabinet.




Keeping your filing cabinet up-to-date, clutter free and organized may sound simple once everything is set up. However, once several employees start adding and removing, things can get messy quite quick.

To avoid having to take amounts of time to reorganize, ensure you do a bit of maintenance monthly, quarterly and yearly.

  • Monthly maintenance requires ensuring that documents are in the correct files and everything is still clear, visible and neat.
  • Quarterly and yearly maintenance requires ensuring that the files remaining in your filing cabinet are not out-dated or unnecessary. Dispose of all files that should not be there.


Filing is an important part of keeping employees organized, efficient and productive. From furniture to supplies, we provide everything your office needs. Make sure your business offers your employees everything they need to complete their tasks by visiting our online store today to get all the office essentials necessary to keep the workday going smoothly.


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