Are you a piler or a filer (and we’re not just talking about paper files)? Do you see piles of paper around your desk or rows of organized folders in your file cabinet? Are there dozens of inconsistently-named documents on your computer or organized, easy to navigate folders and sub-folders?
To help you identify where you lie on the spectrum, here are common “symptoms” of both pilers and filers:
You might be a piler if…
- You are surrounded by piles of paper that you don’t want to make a decision about
- You have a year’s worth of filing that has piled up because it hasn’t been assigned to anyone (or it’s been assigned to the wrong person)
- Your computer desktop is cluttered because your electronic files don’t have a “home”
- You rely on search to locate your electronic files
- Keep in mind: Though relying on search may work for you, it is not an efficient practice when sharing and collaborating with team members. They have to be able to retrieve files as quickly as you.
You might be a filer if…
- You consistently file paper documents and electronic files as they come to you
- Every paper and electronic file has a “home”
- Keep in mind: Just because you’re a filer, does not mean you’re necessarily an efficient filer. You can waste time if you have too many folders, which ultimately slows you down.
Which are you—a piler or a filer? Are you the same for both your paper files and your electronic documents?