Organise your filing system

How to organise your filing

Filing is one of those jobs we tend to put off for as long as we possibly can. However, if you take time to put an effective filing system in place, it can save you lots of time and effort in the long run.

Did you know that we spend on average around 50 minutes a day looking for lost documents and files?

Shred, file or action

This is your first step in getting your filing organised, whether in the home or office. Make three piles of paper as follows:

  • One for papers you need to shred
  • One for papers you need to keep and file.
  • One for papers you need to action, prior to filing or shredding


Remember, with the implementation of GDPR, data security has never been more important.

Decide on a naming convention for your files

Consistency is key. Therefore, think about what would be the best naming convention for your files. You can name your files using various systems:

  • Alphabetically
  • Numerically
  • Chronologically
  • Geographically
  • By subject matter


Once you have decided on a naming convention, make sure you maintain it. If you combine one system with another you can quickly misplace important documents.

Choose the right type of file

Suspension file, ring binder or level arch file? Choose the one that is the most convenient for you. We are all guilty of overfilling our files and so select a file with the correct capacity for your requirements.

Adding index dividers, spine labels or square cut folders will also allow you to keep work separated and organised within your chosen system. In addition, for important paperwork, punched pockets will protect the contents from damage.

Colour code your files

Colour coding your files makes for an efficient and user-friendly filing system. Our brains process information easier when faced with colour coded systems. The Guildhall Filing range includes an array of multi-coloured manilla document wallets and files for everyday and legal use.

File immediately

Get into the habit of immediately filing documents away as soon as you can. Otherwise, the potential to lose important paperwork increases. Also, make sure to have a hole punch close to hand so sheets are ready to be filed.

Review your filing system annually

With your filing now organised, you should get into the habit of reviewing it on an annual basis. Identify any documents and folders that need to be removed from your day to day files and place in an archive or shred them.