Filing Cabinet Productivity: Straight down the line

For some people they know stuff like this, but I’m a truck drivers son! I have to learn this from scratch.

This was a revelation to me: Straight-line filing. Implemented it this week. My files look much nicer on the eye and are more usable:

Keep it straight, keep it organized. A good example of the Straight-Line concept can be seen in the way that names are organized in the phone book. Finding a name is easy because they arranged in columns so your eyes scan them in a straight line. If you had to look back and forth, finding the name would be more difficult and time consuming.

File Management Makeover

Dexion Osborne Park recommends that you use folders with all of the tabs in the same position on the folder. This allows subject titles to line up in a straight line in the drawer or on the shelf. Since the eye sees in straight lines, the most efficient way to organise folders is to use the “straight line” filing method.

Office Ideals

Straight-line filing, with the tabs one behind the other, is not only easier on the eye but simpler to maintain than alternating tab positions.

Steps to Conquer Your Fear of Filing

Setting up files? Consider straight-line filing (all file labels in the same tab position) rather than staggered files (labels left, center, right). Your filing system won’t be disrupted by adding a new file, saving you lots of needless effort in re-arranging files. And it’s easier on your eyes – looking in a straight line is easier than looking back and forth. When I first read this suggestion from Julie Morgenstern, I implemented it on my own files – what a difference! Smead has some nice illustrations of straight-line filing; you don’t need to use their products or use color-coding (as they suggest) to use straight-line filing.

Organizing Tips – Jeri Dansky

Organize Your Work Day… in No Time – Google Book Search

One thought on “Filing Cabinet Productivity: Straight down the line”

  1. Wayne, it was a revelation to me, too – after years and years of filing with staggered tabs, I read about straight-line filing and wondered why I’d never heard of it before! Now I suggest it to everyone.

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