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Author: sean1arch Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 45  
Subject: Re: questions from a new GTD convert Date: 2/10/2005 1:23 PM
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Hello m.

I thought the same thing as you with regard to the hanging file folders until I actually tried it. Here is what I do. . .

My file cabinet has a rectangular metal thing in it that is adjustable and clicks into place which allows you to basically bring the "back" of the file cabinet forward as much as you want. I adjust that "thing" to where the manila folders are compressed enough to stand upright but loose enough to where they can be pulled in and put away easily.

As David Allen suggests, I now file all of my manilla folders in alphabetical order (as opposed to grouping them by type). This makes it easy to thumb through and find exactly where the exact folder is instead of having to thumb through to find a general classification "travel" and then thumb through to find "Paris" (or whatever). Personally, when I want to group certain manilla folders together, I label them by type and specifics. For example, I might lable a folder "Travel-Paris" and another "Travel-Madrid" and then file them in alphabetical order. And this can be broken down even further (i.e. "Travel-Paris-02/04/05" or "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-receipts", etc). This way, as long as you keep a consistant order to your naming of folders, the "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-receipts" will be right next to "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-maps".

But I find that this is even unnecessary for many things. Because once you have an alphabetical system, who cares if the maps of Madrid folder is adjacent to the maps of Paris folder. As long as you know to check under "P" for Paris, you will find what you need in an instant.

I have also found that the hanging files not only make it harder to find what you need, but that they display the information in a way that makes things harder to find. Without the hanging files, the manilla folders all seem to be at the same height and distance apart, making it easy to thumb through quickly.

Bear in mind, my way might not be best for you.

Best,
Sean
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