Monday, March 10, 2014

How do you organize your files?

Sometimes, the simplest changes can have the biggest impacts.  And one of the simplest is to have better organization of you files (both paper and electronic)

This is a real bugaboo for many attorneys – who often waste hours looking for specific documents; who make multiple copies of documents to avoid losing one, and who often drown in reams of paper.

The switch to electronic documents (and “paperless” systems) hasn’t always had the effect on better organization that proponents would have thought.  Now, instead of searching through paper, attorneys search through poorly named files to try to find the right document or form.

Obviously, the best way to solve both these problems is to implement (and, most importantly, follow) systems – a document intake procedure, a set of standard folders (both paper and electronic), and file-naming conventions (for electronic files)

Of course, though, the best system will fail if the attorney and their staff don’t follow it.  Training oneself to abide by systems requires discipline and isn’t always fun (especially for solos who might not enjoy “admin work”) but it’s absolutely necessary and will reward itself many times over.

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