In the nearly 20 years that Black Tulip has been providing administrative services, filing has offered constant challenges. People turn to us for assistance, because managing all those incoming documents is something that few people enjoy, and which always ends up at the bottom of the list of priorities. We love stepping up to the task, and turning a problem into a solution!
Create a System
Not just our own files, but also our client files need on-going daily attention. We have set up logical, consistent rules for naming and filing, and disciplined processes to ensure we can always re-locate that crucial piece of paper following that urgent call from a client. Inevitably, from time to time, some pieces of paper, or sometimes entire file folders, can’t be located. At those times, communication is the key – working with your team to figure out who might be working on a document or file can resolve these situations quickly and efficiently!
Hardware or Software?
In addition to 12 to 15 small, medium and large filing cabinets, we have 500+ boxes of files in storage, and each of our desks contain enough paper to fill many more boxes. And now, with some of our newer clients, we are moving towards electronic filing. Drop Box and Google Drive for “in the cloud” filing, and on our own server an intricate system of individual client folders, with reports, agreements, contracts and email attachments.
The major advantage of electronic filing is being able to search electronically, but you still have to label and file everything correctly and consistently. The major disadvantage is the concern that you could lose it all in an electronic catastrophe. Do you trust your server, or Google’s? Is your paper filing system impenetrable to natural disasters?
In the end it always has to do with the person whose task it is to maintain the files, paper or electronic. Do they understand and follow the rules and guidelines? Are they consistent and disciplined? Can they think for themselves when something doesn’t make sense? Do they care?
We think we are pretty good at this, but there is always room for improvement. How about you? Do you have a “fool-proof” way of organizing and updating your files? Have you come across any novel or brilliant filing solutions? Do you care?