The Art of Clearing the Desk Pile Using a Tickler File.

All the papers and list and to do’s!

How many times each day do you spend writing yourself notes on pieces of paper and post-it notes, to remind yourself about a task you must do? This action would be ideal if only you did not continue to miss doing the things you made a note not to forget.  Guilty as charged!

What is a “tickler file”?

The Tickler File – or some may know it as a BF or Bring Forward File. However, it’s known to you, it is a system that you can use to manage all those loose pieces of paper strewn all over your desk. Usually these papers and tasks are specific to an upcoming event and must be deferred and ‘brought forward’ on a specific date. This system in essence ‘tickles’ your memory.

Using a Tickler File allows you to file this information on the date that you require it, so that it is always in one place and never lost. Gone are the days where you place something on your cork board or leave something on the corner of your desk, only to have something else cover it and hide it from your searching eyes.

Here is what you need:

  • 43 file folders
  • 31 labelled 1 to 31
  • 12 labelled January to December

Here is how to use it:

Folders labelled 1 to 31 represent one day for each day a month. Folders labelled January to December represent each month. How this will look in a filing cabinet is the current month (February) folder in front, followed by 1 to 31 and then March to January. Another look could be current month (February) folder with 1 to 31 folders inside current (February) month folder followed by March – January.

You will place all your loose pieces of paper in the appropriate day of the current month or in the monthly folders of subsequent months. At the end of each month, you will bring forward the next month’s folder and take out all papers in this monthly folder and file them into the appropriate daily folders.

Some Potential Uses of a Tickler File

  1. Mailing yourself reports and support materials needed for future meeting.
  2. Reminding yourself of bills that need to be paid before a certain date. This is great for avoiding late penalties and for maximizing your cash flow situation.
  3. Keeping event tickets safe until the day you need them.
  4. Reminding yourself about upcoming events.
  5. Keeping travel information and documents safe.
  6. Storing your hotel reservations and information.
  7. Keep track of coupons that should be used before the expiration date passes.
  8. Reminding yourself of items to be mailed off on a specific date.
  9. Reminding yourself of subscription expirations & renewals
  10. Reminding yourself about car and house maintenance jobs.

Keep in mind…

The process shift that you will need to introduce into your routine is to look into your daily folders every day. In doing so, you will be reminded of all the papers and information that relate to your appointments for the current day.

Clearing your desk, counter, or cork board of all those stray pieces of one-of-a-kind papers and events will not only help reduce your clutter, but it will ease the stress of that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ fear that we all have. This is a great tool to assist in organizing the day to day tasks of ones work life!

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Written By

Kayla Greene – Office Manager