2 New Additions to the Filing Hall of Shame

Please help me in welcoming two new additions to the Inspired Office Filing Hall of Shame!  You can imagine my excitement when my client and I unearthed these two gems from a filing system that hadn't been purged in at least 5 years.  Consider these to be examples of how not to label a folder!  Why exactly?  They're just glorified piles, telling us nothing specific about the contents. The good news is that anything in these folders self-expires after even just a short amount of time.  We had a good chuckle and tossed their mysterious contents in a matter of minutes.  Don't know where to start purging your own files?  Hunt and peck through your office for any vaguely titled folders and envelopes.  Trust me, you can blindly toss the contents.  If they once were "important" or required "action," their ship has sailed and you're surely onto bigger and better things. Need more examples of unhelpful labels?  Check out the original Filing Hall of Shame here! Do you have folders worthy of the Inspired Office Hall of Shame?  Please share!  Email me pics and you too could be a member of the esteemed club of folks who are swiftly moving towards a filing system worthy of the Inspired Office Hall of FAME!  This is all in good fun.  My clients all know that their folders are lovingly showcased here and have graciously offered to serve as examples!

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The 1 Folder Never Allowed in an Inspired Office

There are many tell tale signs of an Inspired Office: clear desktops, files that are happily used, and beautiful storage.  An Inspired Office never has a “To File” folder.  What a sad waste of a good manila file folder.  It had aspirations and was meant for better things.  There are a few reasons why these exist in the offices of otherwise reasonable professionals:

  • No time to file
  • No interest whatsoever in filing
  • A flawed file system

That was my being tactful. The “To File” folder is, do I dare say it, a lazy excuse not to file.  Strangely, the “To File” folder is usually more than 50% junk.  Peek inside of yours now.  You’ll see.  At least re-label this folder. Perhaps a better name for it is “Things I need to get off my desk because I can’t look at the crap anymore.”

Another funny thing about these folders is that they tend to multiply.  To start one is to find several, perhaps one for every year, with your Professional Organizer during an excavation one day.

Warning: It’s not a system and it never works as it was intended. The “To File” folder is always indicative of a broken filing system.  If you have a place for absolutely every paper that flows into your office, then it should be just as easy to file (or toss), as it is to pile on top of the cabinet.  I compromise with clients every day, but keeping this folder is one deal I never strike.

Are you harboring “To File” piles?  If so, peek inside and get honest with yourself about its contents, and how long it will actually take to file and create files.  Hint: it never takes as long as you think.