Guideline in Filing Documents
Filing is the orderly arrangement of documents using a predetermined system for safe keeping and easy access whenever they need to be used (Mann, 2006). It is important to have all related documents filed together for exhaustive analysis whenever required, for instance, when one files documents relating to an employee, the cover file should contain the names and department of the employee. Further, for a group of files with employee details, they should have the same color. In a big organization, departmental difference should be handled by using different shelves or safes that are well labeled (Phelps, Fisher & Ellis, 2007). The other categories of file names should be given various colors for easy differentiation. This implies that, if employee files are Blue in color, financial files relating to the company can be Green
The next step is the Archiving which involves placing the files in the safe, drawers or shelves. There are five various options of organizing the files;
This is same as the color grouping. Different subjects and categories are separated and placed in folders of different colors. They are then placed in different well labeled drawers, shelves or safes, for easy identification. This means that in a specific shelf section, there will be the same color of files next to each other.
- Alphabetical order
This is when files of different colors or the same color are arranged by their alphabetical order of the file subjects. If it is done for the different categories (with same color or not) then Finance will come before Human resources, and marketing will come after the two. If the same is done for the same category like in Human Resources, Charles will come before James and Mary should come last.
- Numerical and alpha-numeric order
The use of numbers is considered which mostly includes dates, years, and various representative codes pre set. When codes are used, sometimes it is important to use some letters of the alphabet to qualify them for easier retrieval or arrangement on the shelves. An application of the system in human resources would be employees recruited during the same year have their files labeled so and grouped together (Mann, 2006). The organization can also give codes for various categories mixed with letters for identification, for instance, Two files in the Human Resources Department would be labeled as; HR-001/P for permanent employees and HR-002/N for casual and contractual workers.
- Geographical order
This involves separating files by the physical location of the area they represent and common for organizations with various branches.
- Chronological order
The files are labeled and separated in the order of the first one and those which come after placed next, preferably by dates.
Proper filing makes the office look clean and neat. It further makes the work of placing and retrieving files enjoyable because minimum time is taken to locate file location. A register should be put in place to monitor which files are borrowed by someone, when and expected time of return.