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How to Establish an Office Filing System

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Having a functioning filing system in any office is important. The best way to keep office documents organized is to have an easy filing system that you understand. The next time you need a file, you will not have to go through piles of papers, hoping to find the right one. You'll know exactly where it is.

Create time to reorganize your filing system or start a new system; it is easier to finish it all at once.

Solicit input from the people who use the files.

Alphabetize your files or sort them numerically by category, client names or dates.

Color-code your files.

Label each file with a name that makes sense and is easy to find. There should be no "miscellaneous" files in your system.

Go through your files and documents before placing them into the new system and discard any unnecessary documents.


If you are unsure of a category for a document, put it under the first category you think of when considering the document or get advice from another person.

If there are multiple filing systems in the office, have everyone establish the same type of filing system.

When you have a new item to be filed, create the file right away.

Have folders and writing implements available near your filing system.

Staple pages together instead of using paper clips.


Do not file duplicates.