The time it takes to convert your piles and files is justified!
Does converting your files to ‘The Paper Tiger way’ seem overwhelming? Do you have an office full of stacks and stacks of paper to be filed and lots of file drawers to convert?
There is an investment of time to set up your new file system with The Paper Tiger, but when you consider that the average person wastes 150 hours per year looking for lost and misplaced papers, even if it took two (8 hour) days to convert …that would be 16 hours vs. 150 hours. The investment of time is well worth it because you will be so much more productive for years to come.
The Paper Tiger actually makes filing easier and quicker to do once you have it set up, because you set up the empty hanging files prior to filing (a file labeled with a number can be labeled ahead of time) so they are waiting empty in the file drawer to receive your paper files. So when you’re ready to file, you don’t have to search for a hanging folder nor do you have to create a printed label at the time you create a new file.
Listed below are some plans of action.
Note: If your hanging file folder has several items that you want to include into 1 Item Name in Paper Tiger, you would simply add keywords for all document items into the Keyword section of the same Item Name. In addition, you may want to separate the physical documents in the hanging file folder with manilla folders. In this case, you might also want to number the manilla folders and include the number that you input on the manilla folder with the coinciding keywords in the Keyword section.
Do a combination of the above in some way that will work for you. Decide on the most important sections of your files and convert them immediately. Then you commit to a couple of hours a week or 1 drawer a day until the rest is done…whatever works for you. Statistically, 80% of our existing files are never referenced again, so as you are going through each file, and you know you haven’t referenced a file for several months (and probably won’t again,) decide if you can toss it or if it needs to be archived. If it needs to be archived, put the file in the last drawer to be converted. When you get to that drawer, you can create a location called Archive within Paper Tiger, input the file item name and keywords in that Archive location, then box the file to be sent to wherever you send archived files.
Also, you don’t have to add keywords for every piece of paper in a file if the file name contains the only word(s) you would ever look up to find it. (ex: invoices)