Posts Tagged ‘Filing’

 

COLOR-CODING WITH TERMINAL DIGIT FILING

terminal digit filing

-Color-coding is very effective with terminal digit filing.  Using the number 87 34 71 you would
color-code (7)(1)

-If you have a file room with 10,000 records and color-code the last two digits you will have 100 records in the file room filed beside each other with the same two colors.  It is easy to see if someone puts a record into the wrong section since the color scheme would be broken.

-You only need to search through 100 files for a missing folder instead of 10,000 (since you know the color of the last two digits).

-Still using the example 87 34 71 if you decide to color-code the 1,000 digit also (3) in our example, that would reduce the amount of records with the same three colors to 10 records.

I recommend color-coding the 1,000 digit when the file room contains 30,000 or more records (means 30 records with the same 3 colors as opposed to 300 when coding 2 colors).

I would not recommend color-coding all the digits of the number because of the rainbow effect makes spotting misfiles difficult (too many colors)  Also, why spend unnecessary money?

Read my article “Analysis of Terminal Digit” Filing for information about terminal digit filing.

Need folders or labels?  Go to Efficiency Solutions for a great selection of filing products.

>What suggestions can you add to color coding terminal digit filing?

 What are Year Codes? b_yearlabels

Color-coded year bands provide an economical way to distinguish time of activity of individual folders located in a filing system.  A year band can be used to tell when a record was created or when the record was last accessed.

Each year is printed on the label and assigned a different color. For example, 2010 may be red while 2011 is blue.  The label wraps around the side or top tab of the folder so it is visible from both sides of the folder.      

What Sizes Are Available for Year Codes?

Side tab label sizes are:  3/4” high x 1-1/2” wide (most common size),
1/2” high x 1-1/8” wide, 1-7/8” x 1-7/8”.

Top tab label size is:  1” high x 1/2” wide.

What Type of Filing System Commonly Uses Year Codes?

Year codes are more commonly used in a side tab filing system (this is when folders are filed on open shelving as apposed to drawers) because these systems are often very large.  Also, with open shelving you can see the colors on the labels by standing in front of the shelving.

Why Use Year Codes?  yr codes

Finding information based on the year is much quicker. If you do not put it on the front of the folder you have to go into each chart to find the year.

Another use of colored year bands is when all records from one year are filed together.  If someone tries to put a record with the wrong year’s folders the color band will be different than the others in the section

When is Knowing Folder Activity Important?

Knowing folder activity is valuable in a number of instances:

If you purge based on activity. 

When a study is conducted and you want to access all records from a certain year. 

If you are looking for a certain record and know the year the search is quicker.

You need to follow-up on a record in a specific time period.

What if You Have too Many Records in One Year?

When one year is too long a time period (too many records) you can use two or more colors for the same year to break up the year.  Or, month codes are available to distinguish each month of activity.

Benefits of Year Codes!

Using year codes saves time and after all “time is money”.  Since approximately 75% of every dollar spent in filing areas is people time, using color-coded year bands will pay big dividends!

Share your ideas about using year codes.

Need year codes or folders?  Efficiency Solutions is a great place to purchase both!

 divider

Tab Dividers (also called Index Tabs) are tabbed sheets of paper inserted into a folder to separate sections of the folder.

When to Use Tab Dividers:

-If the record is very large

-When parts of the folder need to be accessed quickly

-Multiple people use sections of the file

Why Use Tab Dividers:

-Keeps the folder organized

-Saves time (time is money!)

Applications for Tab Dividers:

-Medical Records, Hospital Charts

-Legal Records

-Banking & Financial Records

-Insurance Records

-Mortgage Loan Files

To maximize the efficiency gained by using Tab Dividers it makes sense to customize the dividers to match you particular needs.  Unless the quantity is very small the price is not very different from stock dividers.

Making your own tab dividers may seem to cost less than custom, but when you compare the supplies and time (and they usually end up sloppy) used to construct these tabs they end up being more costly than custom. 

I have listed below the choices you can make when designing your custom tab dividers. 

1: Paper Weight- Tab Divider paper is available in 90lb. and 110lb. weights.  The heavier weight helps increase the durability of heavily used dividers.  90lb. paper takes up less room in the chart and is the most commonly used weight (most of the wear and tear happens to the tabs).

2:  Paper Color-Tab Divider paper is available in white index, manila, and colored paper.

3: Tab Extension-How far the tabs stick out (extension) is available in 5 sizes:

1/4" ext.

3/8" ext.

1/2" ext.

5/8" ext.

3/4" ext.

If the tabs are located on the bottom of the dividers a smaller extension has the advantage of not covering up the side tab of the chart.

For tabs located on the side of the divider larger extensions mean the text is easier to read.

4: Tab Cut-This describes how many tab positions are located on the dividers.  Also described as how may tabs to a bank. The tab cut ranges from 1 tab  per bank to 12 tabs per bank (1/12th cut).   With each addition of a tab to the bank the width of the tab gets smaller.  tab divider grid

4: Printing-Custom printing on the tab can be on one side or both sides of the tab. Body copy is also available.

5: Mylar Reinforcement-Mylar reinforcement on the tabs greatly increases the strength of the tab. 

Also, choosing a different mylar color for each tab makes it easier to quickly identify each section.   mylar colors

The holes may also have mylar reinforcement to keep them from ripping.

6: Hole Details-The holes used to attach the divider to the folder may be located on the top or the side of the divider. 

You can also choose 2 holes (for folders with fasteners), 3 holes (usually for a 3 ring binder), or 5 holes (usually for a 5 ring binder). If the divider goes from a binder then into a folder 5 holes will work with both situations. 

7: Collation-Dividers can be collated into sets.  This is a good idea if every tab title will be used in every chart.  If each chart requires different tabs collating the tabs separately is the best choice.  For times when most of the tabs are used with every chart you can have those dividers collated into sets while the tabs only used with some of the charts are packaged separately.

Do you have any suggestions about paper tab dividers for file folders?

Call Efficiency Solutions for personal help designing your tab dividers!

In an organized filing system folders are arranged in some kind of order. Some commonly used systems include: alphabetical, straight numeric, terminal digit numeric, or by a category.

Sub categories can also be added to the above methods. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various systems upfront will allow for an informed decision based on your particular needs.

This article looks at alphabetical filing.
 
Before putting the files into alphabetical order you have to decide what will be the designator of the file. This will allow you to get an idea of the total quantity of files in the system.
 
Using a name is the most commonly used factor. Most systems put last name first, then the first name. For example: Beth Smith would be filed before Pam Smith.
 
ADVANTAGES:
 
-Most people are familiar with this type of filing because libraries (at least partially) and home filing systems are usually alphabetical.
 
-The staff should be able to learn and become comfortable with the system in a timely manner.
 
-The total amount of shelving available for the system can be divided into alphabetical order before you start to add records (the chart below shows how to estimate space for alpha sorted files).
 
  File Room Alpha Breakdown
 
(A=3.2%) (B=9.7%) (C=8.0%) (D=4.9%) (E=2.2%) (F=3.8%)
 
(G=4.9%) (H=7.8%) (I=0.4%) (J=2.6%) (K=3.6%) (L=4.5%)
 
(M=9.3%) (N=1/7%) (O=1.3%) (P=4.5%) (Q=0.2%) (R=4.8%)
 
(S=10.2%) (T=3.4%) (U=0.4%) (V=1.0%) (W=6.8%) (X=0.1%)
 
(Y=0.5%) (Z=0.2%)

- The need to shift the records after purging records is reduced because which records that are removed is usually random.

-The records that are then added to the system will also be random and fall across the entire filing system.

- A cross reference may be avoided if the situation is such that the name used on the record is easily available.

DISADVANTAGES:
 
-This system does not work well with very large filing systems. With a large amount of files the chance of duplicate names is great which can lead to confusion and increase retrieval time.
 
-Color coding is more difficult since you need to have 26 colors or combination of colors to designate all the letters of the alphabet.
 
-Spotting misfiles can also be harder.
 
-Trying to remember where a letter falls in the alphabet adds to the time of filing and retrieving the records.
 
-Dealing with some of the rules of alpha filing can be very confusing. (For example, does Mc come before or after Mac?) Every time I go to the library I stand at the stacks trying to remember these rules (and I have to keep going through the alphabet to find a particular book on the shelves).
 
-If confidentiality is an issue having a person’s name on the file may be a privacy violation.
 
-Chances are increased that an unauthorized person can find a particular file.
 
In conclusion, making the decision on what system to use depends on your needs and how you rank the advantages and disadvantages list above.
 
See my article "Analysis of Terminal Digit Filing"  and  "Analysis of Straight Numeric Filing"  for information about numeric filing.
 
Need folders for your filing system?  Efficiency Solutions carries a wide range of filing products!
 
Do you have any advantages or disadvantages to add to my list?
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