Posts Tagged ‘Numeric 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?

Before creating a numeric filing system for your records, it is important to decide what filing number to use. 

Terminal Digit Filing

Here are some questions along with some ideas to help you decide:

Taking the time to think through all the current and future aspects of your filing needs will help to save you time and trouble as the system grows. Nothing is worse than having thousands of records filed only to have to re-do the system because of factors not considered at the beginning.

1)  How many total records are anticipated for this system?

If the system is very small what number to use is not as important.  In fact, you might want to consider alphabetical filing since this may reduce the need to cross reference in order to find the record’s number. 

For large filing systems a shorter number is easier to handle. 

2)  What numbers already exist that may be used?

Maybe a billing number, medical record number etc?  If you decide to use an existing number accessibility of the number is very important.  Using a computer system that contains the filing number is the most commonly used method. 

3)  Will you be color-coding the records?

If you decide to color-code the records a shorter number is easier to work with.

4)  Where do you intend to designate the number on the folder?

Make sure the number is not so long all the numbers cannot be viewed on the folders.

5)  Will sub-folders be created that need to be numbered?

If sub-folders are used another decision has to be made about how to designate the sub-folders.  Using the date the sub-folder is created is a common designation method.

6)  Will regular purging of the files occur?

If a sequential filing number is used purging will create holes at the beginning of the filing system which means the records must be shifted to make space for the new numbers (newer numbers will be filed at the end of the system).

7)  Is confidentiality an issue with the number being considered for the record? 

confidential_file_folder_0515-0911-0222-3558_SMUIf the files are located where they can be casually viewed, this issue becomes very important.

 

 

8) Will drawers or open shelving be used for the system?

When records are filed in drawers it is harder to see the number.  A shorter number could help. 

When records are filed in drawers it is harder to see the number. A shorter number could help. Also remember that filing drawer cabinets are very inefficient use of floor space.

cartoon

Considering all the factors listed above will aid you when designing a numeric filing system.

Do  you have any additional ideas regarding numbering folders?

Need to purchase  folders or labels?  Check out Efficiency Solutions for all your filing system needs.

An organized filing system can be arranged in a number of ways including:  Alphabetical, Straight Numeric, or Terminal Digit order.

This article focuses on Terminal Digit filing.

Example of a Terminal Digit System

With Terminal digit filing the last two digits of the filing number determine the primary location of the file.  Then you go to the middle two digits, then the beginning digits  (how many digits depends on the size of the number).

A simple way to describe how to file a six digit number in terminal digit order is: last two, middle two, first two.

For example:  the number 13 76 20 would be filed in the (20) section,  then in order by the (76), then in order by the (13).

You are basically taking the entire file room and dividing it up into 100 sections.  The sections start at (00) and end at (99)

You look at the last two digits first (last two) which means the first section in the file room contain all the numbers that end in (00) and the last section contains all the numbers that end in (99).

Terminal Digit File Room Illustration

00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99

These sections pretty much stay constant so knowing the last two digits of the filing number means knowing the section of the file room that contains that record (a number ending 50 will be in the middle of the file room etc.).

Now that the record is in the primary section the next digits to file by in that section are the (middle digits). Then you go to the next digits back (first two with a six digit number).

Read the rest of this entry »

In an organized filing system folders are arranged in some kind of order (we hope!). Some commonly used methods include: alphabetical, straight numeric, terminal digit numeric, or by some category. Sub categories can also be added to the above methods.

 Straight numeric filing is basically putting the folders in order of lowest number to highest number.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various systems upfront will allow for an informed decision based on your particular needs.

This article provides information regarding straight numeric filing.

1) Choosing a Number

Before putting the files into numeric order you have to decide what number will be used to designate each folder. Some numbers commonly used are: medical record number, account number, billing number, assigned number etc.

2) Determining if Straight Numeric is the Correct Choice

-How folders many will make up the filing system?

-The number of digits that make up the chosen number?  

-How long the records will be kept in the system?

-What factors will determine when they are purged?

-Will the records be color-coded?

Read the rest of this entry »

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