Paper Tiger Blog


The Paper Tiger Blog contains great ideas on better ways to stay organized, clear your desk, reduce stress and spend less time managing information.

Welcome to Paper Tiger document management and filing system software — the software designed to help you organize the paper in your life, but also help you get organized in other areas as well, such as books, CDs, DVDs, storage boxes, etc. You will find our approach to dealing with paper not only easier than anything you’ve done before, but also, we predict, life-changing! For a glimpse of what is in store for you, we recommend previewing the video ‘What is Paper Tiger?‘, then take a look at the Getting Started Guides Steps 1-4 and the Tutorials from our Paper Tiger Desktop Video Learning Resource page. The multimedia Tutorial presentations will show you step by step how Paper Tiger file management system works. Listen and watch as the team plans their attack on the paper jungle! They will show you how to reduce your paper pile; how to organize your files; and, how to launch Paper Tiger filing system software so that your document management system will run smoothly and efficiently—not just for now, but forever! Happy paper taming!

Here are a few key terms used in Paper Tiger:

Location is a physical Location for storing Folders, such as a file cabinet or a desk drawer that relates to a Location within Paper Tiger Filing System Software.

Folder is a file folder, containing one or several related items. A hanging file folder may contain other file folders for subdividing papers or for taking files with you. “Folder” is sometimes used interchangeably with “file.”

Item Name is the descriptive name you give a Folder. “Museum Board Directory” might be the Item Name you give a Folder that contains a current phone and address list of museum board members. “Sales Reports 02” might be the Item Name you choose for a Folder containing each regional sales reports for 2002. A Folder or Item Name labeled “Warranties” might include sub-files for “Electronics,” “Major Appliances,” and “Outdoor Equipment.”

Keyword is any word, or words, in addition to the Item Name, which you associate with the contents of a Folder. Key words for your Folder, “Sales Reports 2002” might include: NW region, monthly sales, or Tom Jones. You can find any Folder quickly by entering any of the key words for the Folder, or the Item Name, into The Paper Tiger’s Find function.

Category is a word or words you may use to classify groups of related Folders. For example, you may use the Category “Benefits” to classify the Folders, “401K,” “Stock Options,” and “Day Care.” The Category, “Services,” might include Folders for “Accountant,” “Graphic Artist,” and “Organizing Consultant.”

Action Files are files you use most frequently. There are two categories of Action Files:

Temporary Action Files are files of current projects or events that will come to an end, e.g., files on a new committee assignment or presentation notes for an upcoming meeting.

Permanent Action Files are files for tasks that require ongoing action, e.g., “Call,” “Pay,” and “Write.”

Reference Files are files you need to refer to from time to time. “Auto Insurance,” “Taxes – Current Year,” and “Time Sheets” are examples of reference files.

For a sneak preview of Paper Tiger’s plan of attack, crouch low, keep a keen eye, and follow the trail markers below:

1. Establish a physical Location for your Action Files—Permanent and Temporary—and for your Reference Files. Decide how many Folders you will need, approximately, in each Location. Tiger Tip: Place your Action Files in a file drawer or desktop file holder within hand’s reach!

2. Decide what type of filing system you will use—numerical or alphabetical. We strongly recommend a numerical filing system. Files easily stay in order in your file drawer and you don’t have to create new file tabs each time you add a file folder! And, you never have to move files to make room for a new one. Just put the new file wherever you have space. The Paper Tiger will help you create and maintain either system. You may even want a numerical system in one Location and an alphabetical system in another. It’s up to you; Paper Tiger allows its users to decide!

3. Gather your hanging files and your hanging file plastic tabs. We provide pre-printed, hanging file tab inserts with our software. (See, we knew you were too busy to make them yourself, so we did it for you!) You will find tab inserts for Permanent Action Folders (e.g., Call, Write, Pay); numbered tab inserts for Temporary Action Folders (#1-60), and numbered tab inserts for Reference Folders (#1-320). Insert tabs into plastic tab holders. (If you prefer, you can create and print your own tab inserts with our software—it’s your choice.) Slip each plastic holder, with tab inserted, into the inside front slots of your hanging files. With tabs on the front of the file folder, you can drop in papers easily by pulling the file tab toward you! You can also print custom tabs from within Paper Tiger filing system software.

4. Install Paper Tiger software. Close any open Windows applications, especially anti-virus. Follow the Installation Instructions that comes with your purchase. Insert the CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive. Click Start on the taskbar, then click Run to begin the setup. Type d:\setup.exe (if d is not your CD-ROM drive, type in the appropriate letter).

5. After viewing the tutorial, a dialog box will appear. It will ask you if you want Paper Tiger to add a new Location now. Click on Yes. The Location Wizard will appear and will take you step by step through entering your Locations into Paper Tiger. After entering each Location, a Location List window will appear. It will display all Locations entered, the capacity (number of Folders) for each, and any optional information you chose to include.

If you prefer not to view the tutorial first (ouch!), you can go directly to Paper Tiger Main Window. Click on File, then click on New. Click on Create New Location and The Location Wizard will appear.

6. Now enter Item Names for your Folders into Paper Tiger. Click the Browser button on the main toolbar. Click New on the Browser toolbar. The Item Wizard will appear. Step by step, the Item Wizard will prompt you to enter the Item Name for each Folder and any additional information you choose to include—keywords, categories, or action dates.

Each time you enter an Item Name for a Folder, Paper Tiger will automatically assign the Item Name to a numbered Folder. The total number of available Folders for any Location will correspond to the capacity you entered for each Location in the Location Wizard. (You can edit the capacity later, if for example, you want to add more Folders to a Location.)

7. After entering Item Names for your Folders, you will need to print a File Index, a report that lists, alphabetically or numerically, all Folders in a Location. Click Reports on the Main Menu bar and select File Index. A File Index Wizard will appear and will guide you through the process of tailoring this report to your needs. This will be your back-up for when you’re traveling or in the event your computer is down for any reason.

8. Now, begin filing your papers! Refer to the File Index Report to locate appropriate Folders. If you forget a file name, remember, it’s no problem! Just click the Find button on the menu bar, enter any keyword for the file, and the computer will pop up the Item Name and corresponding number for the Folder.

You are now well on your way to using a file system that takes the Aaagh! out of filing and retrieving. We will share more with you along the way, but we know you are eager to tackle the tiger, so… assume your position, and Take Charge!

The Fine Print: Our Company will proudly accept responsibility for our users’ big smiles, free time, salary raises, kudos from the boss, lowered blood pressure, or smug behavior toward those who have yet to discover this wonderful tool.


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.

  • Block off a couple of workdays and get it over with. Plan ahead and make sure that you have an assistant; anyone who can type to enter the data you relay to them will make the file conversion go much more quickly. Go ahead and input the numbered tabs into your hanging folders (files you already have set up in your desk drawers and file cabinets, and new hanging folders for new files.) You tell your assistant which words to enter into the database for Item Name, Keywords, and Category starting with #1 and forward. Then, you can put the papers into the appropriate numbered file.  This will also be a good time to decide file retention for each file and use the Action Date section to remind you to archive or trash after a pre-determined amount of time.
  • Converting will be more difficult without an assistant, but it can be done.
  • We suggest starting with the papers on your desk. Make a decision for every piece of paper.
  • Throw away what you can do without (if you can toss all the paper in your life and find it later on the Internet or get it from someone else, recycle!)
  • Does the paper require Action? If so, decide which action and file appropriately. Use the handy Action tabs that come with your shipment or printed from Paper Tiger to help you decide how to file Action items! You may also want to set up a daily and/or monthly follow up system to help you with dated items, which you should check daily.
  • If you want to keep for later reference and it doesn’t require action, place in stack to file (or tray labeled ‘To File’)
  • Next, go to your desk drawers. If you’ve already input the numbered tabs in your hanging folders, you’re ready to type into Paper Tiger the item name and keywords for each file.

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.

  • Go to your file cabinets next, one drawer at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be done!
  • If blocking off complete days will not work for you, commit to doing a certain number of files per day. So if you had 150 files to convert and you said you would do 10 a day, in 15 days you would have it done. If you do this, you need to schedule the time in your calendar to do the conversion and then be disciplined about keeping these appointments with yourself.

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)


We are on a roll here! Please enjoy 2 more videos of great learning material for your convenience. We cover how to use the Transfer Report function, as well as the Action Date feature in the Paper Tiger.

Please let us know what else you’d like to see in our videos, we are all ears.

The Paper Tiger Get Started Now! Guide

Keep filing!

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