Have you ever gone into overwhelm trying to find an important document on your desk or in your file cabinet because you can’t remember where you put it? That used to happen to me quite a lot until I discovered a wonderful new way to file everything – it’s called The Productive Environment Finding SystemTM that was developed by Barbara Hemphill of the Productive Environment Institute.
I’m in the process of building a house and applied for a mortgage. If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage you know that you have to supply a lot of financial documents to the lender. That’s what happened to me recently. In the past, I would have gone into total panic and overwhelm sifting through file folders in my filing cabinet trying to find what I needed. But not this time. With my PE Finding SystemTM I was able to find all the documents I needed, scan them, and upload them to the lender’s system in just a few minutes. I was so excited that I didn’t have to waste hours trying to finding these documents.
So, you ask, how does this system work? It is a searchable file index for your files or anything else that you want to be able to find quickly – one of the tools in the Total Office Transformation program by the Productive Environment Institute. Think of it as a Google search for your documents. Instead of filing everything alphabetically and trying to remember if you filed the title for your car, for example, under “auto” or “car” or even the make of the car, such as Subaru, you put the documents into a numerical filing system and setup a cross reference file index with the description or tags for what you put into the specific file.
Going back to the example of the title for my car. Let’s say that the next numerical file number I have available is 20, so I put the title for my car into that file. I then go to number 20 in my File Index System and type in the following description and tags: title, 2020 Subaru. Now if I need to find the title for my car, I open up my File Index System and search for the word title. It will bring up the listing for number 20. I go to that file and there it is.
When I was recently packing to move, I went through all of my files, threw a lot of old stuff away, and neatly organized them by categories into one file drawer and three plastic file bins. I thought I had done a great job of organizing and consolidating until I implemented the PE Finding SystemTM. It did take me several hours to put all of my files into this new system, but when I was finished, I only had 2 plastic bins full of files, along with my one file drawer. I did go through every one of my files and ended up consolidating a lot of files because I realized that I had similar documents filed under different names. Now, with the Finding SystemTM, I have similar documents in the same file and I have tags and descriptions for them in my index system.
The PE Finding SystemTM also makes it very easy to file new documents that I receive. Using my File Index System, I check to see if I already have a file for documents of that type and then file them into the appropriate numbered file. If I don’t have documents of that type, I find the next available number in my File Index System and add a tag for that document under that number in my File Index System and add the document to that numbered file. It saves a lot of time and effort.
If you want to learn more, click here to get your Productive Environment Score™ and apply for a free Office Transformation GamePlan™ Session.