This is a story of Mr. Kaji, who was as awful as I was at organizing. He was severely reprimanded by his company's managers and requested to improve his organizing practices. He thought about the way he remembered the documents, and he focused on the documents he could not find in his files. He noticed he did not remember categories, but he remembered when he came across the documents. The next day, he suggested to his boss that he change the filing method to one that works for him. His boss reluctantly approved Kaji's request. A month later, Kaji's bosses saw the difference: Kaji no longer misplaced the documents. He could locate what they needed in a minute. When his boss asked what he did to improve his methods of organizing, Kaji answered that he decided to ignore the categories of documents.
Instead, he started to organize the documents in chronological order.
Kaji found it confusing that some documents belonged in different categories. First, he took copies and filed duplicates in files of different categories. However, that took a lot of time, yet he would sometimes still forget to file a copy in one of the related categories. So he started to file documents in files labeled only by date, such as "Feb 01 - Mar 31, 2011." Additionally, he used his favorite small notebook to take notes on a document whenever he felt he needed help remembering something.
People's preference varies, and this is just a suggestion. However, this method of organizing documents in chronological order helps the organizer remember where they are. Additionally, this chronological method of filing has advantages. You neither have to go through the category files to find the document, or open several category files to find it. You can just put the filing document in the front of the file folder, which will save you a lot of time.
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