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The *best* way to store plain manila file folders?

Hi all,

Once upon a time you could buy a filing cabinet that worked with file folders of the non-hanging variety, but it appears that such times are long past. I've been trying to figure out how to store folders nicely in cabinets designed for hanging files, but nothing seems to work well:

* Shoving the folders in and hoping for the best makes a mess, because the folders in back aren't supported well and the ones in front slide down. Sticking small boxes in front and back kind of helps, but it's ugly and far from perfect.

* Putting manila folders into hanging folders works, but it seems terribly inefficient, especially for small folders. The David says you shouldn't have inhibitions about filing a single piece of paper. Further, it doubles the size of your files.

What tricks to people here use?


ggrozier's picture

Yes, I see what you...

Yes, I see what you mean, but don't you think there are limits? I like the Moleskine hacks where people are finding ways to attach a pen or pencil, or developing innovative ways to use them, indexing their Moleskines, or other tools. But if you have something that's not suited to the way you're trying to use it, you'll waste so much time trying to get it to do something it's not designed to do, and maybe even ruin it in the process--I speak from experience, because I did ruin a file cabinet by piling files on the drawer bottom. The bottom came out, breaking off part of the particle-board groove at the bottom. At least it's still useful for hanging files! But the bottom is gone.

For these file drawers the simplest answer would be to use a cork-bottomed bookend like they have at Office Depot as a slider in the back of the files, or if you have a metal file drawer, a magnetic bookend.

I just feel that David Allen ought to revise his guidelines in view of the real world where people can't find the old-style file cabinets except for places like Levenger where they're wildly expensive, or at used office furniture places. And nowadays so many of us have home offices and buy things that will fit in to our homes. I'm an accountant and I go to a lot of home offices, and some people do have old banged-up metal file cabinets and could care less, but there are also people who have nice furniture, not Levenger-quality, but wood desks etc and they don't want the old metal cabinets.

The office furniture we find in Office Depot etc just isn't designed for standard files. And in this case, trying to work around it and use these drawers for standard files may break them, which leads to more disorganization and annoyance.

I guess I believe it's more productive to hack the GTD system instead of hacking the hanging file cabinet. The system should be more adaptable to a variety of tools, and it bugs me that it's there like a big stone in the middle of the river, blocking so many people from getting on with their system, because we're trying to get something to do something it just isn't designed to do. You can go back several years at the Davidco forums and that's one of the big recurring themes that people ask about. And I don't think it should be like that.




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