Paper files are an essential part of any business, and although things are moving to digital systems, it is more than likely your business still needs to keep paper records. It can be confusing knowing what you need to keep and how things should be organised, as archiving your files can prove to be a huge task. It can take up a huge amount of space in your office and you can struggle to keep up with the process. Our blog provides you with some tips about archiving your files and how you should organise your files.
Create a good filing system
An important element to creating a good archiving system is making sure that you are sorting your files correctly from the start. Having a good file classification system is important as it allows you to correctly sort your files into the right place. One of the best ways to do this is to create a numbered system depending on how much paperwork you have to file. Some options that you could consider for a filing system include;
- Department Coding – if you have a lot of different departments then you should consider labelling folders and paperwork with department numbers. Using numbers such as 101 or 303, followed by another number can allow you to sort your paperwork.
- File Names – this is important for keeping track of what you are filing. You should make sure that you give each file a relevant name, adding dates or numbers if they are similar to another file type you are archiving.
- Disposal Date – you should also add a date where the file is no longer of use such as a project completion date. This will allow you to keep on top of your files and keep the amount you are storing to a minimum.
Keep a Record
It is important that you keep a record of all the files that you store so that you know exactly where to find them when you need them. This might seem like a mammoth task at first, but once you have it set up, adding file locations to the index is fairly straightforward. If you have a manual record then you should make sure people update the list as soon as something has been filed. A good way to keep a record of all files is to use a spreadsheet system that all your employees have access to and can update with the correct location. You should also track files when they have been taken from the premises by someone and when they have been returned to the correct location.
It is important that you carry out regular checks on your files to make sure that they are being returned and placed correctly. This doesn’t need to be done for every single file, but you should make random checks to make sure things are being put in the right place. This will help you keep track of your files and make sure that you don’t lose valuable information.
By following our guide you should be able to manage your filing system a bit better, but you might still be lacking in space. If you have to keep a historical record of your files then you might want to consider self storage to help you gain more space in your office. If you have a large number of files that are not needed on a regular basis, business storage solutions could be perfect for you. Make Space provide a range of affordable storage solutions to meet your needs.