The One-Box System Minimises Time Spent Filing

You dread filing. You don't even own a file cabinet. You're allergic to labelling. Whatever the reason, maintaining a meticulously organised file system has eluded you. Throw it all in a box. Over at the productivity blog SimpleProductivity, they offer a suggestion that—by their own admission—is heresy to devotees of organisation:

Many people, otherwise competent and some even brilliant, cannot maintain a filing system. It has nothing to do with intelligence or organisation or even self-discipline. I'm convinced it's just the way they are wired.

Their suggestion? Throw everything in a box. Keep a box under your desk, near your work area, or where you sort your mail, and put everything in the box. Everything you would normally file or save for potential future use goes into the box: pay stubs, paid bills, receipts and such all piled into the box as they appear. At the end of the year, you sit down and shred everything that you won't need in future years and then simply write the year on the box in bold print and throw it on a shelf somewhere. While this system is completely antithetical to the systems that many of us use, ot's a by-the-year filing system could easily meet the simple filing needs of many people. It's also an approach that—despite its potential shortcomings—is still Better than Nothing™, which is what most of us attracted to this method are likely to do. Whether you're horrified or not, sound off in the comments. Photo by Jonbro.


    Certainly better than nothing. Most people usually have their filing like that anyway. In a tray ready to put into exact folders. Perhaps with last years still there. I'd say a new box every six months. Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec that way you have a finance year in 2 boxes. And still only One box under the desk. I'd also suggest with paper in hand you know if trivial or other. Trivial the shoes receipt you want need unless per chance you are taking back to shop next week. That was only 2 boxes under desk and One has stuff you might need. The other you can chuck in six months.

    In offices where that had books of vouchers, invoices etc All filed in exact number order - you usually had an enormous pile of vouchers yet to be filed which included the ones you wanted but unfindable because of the volume. or if filed it could be in wrong sequence so lost. File vouchers like that in ten books - Book 1 all the vouchers with 1 as last digit and so on 1,2,3...0 . Piece of cake - everything can be quickly filed at end of day - latest on top - no wrong filing. Any number can be quickly found as just a few to look through

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