Monday, September 01, 2008

Create A Tickler File

Many years ago I worked as an Assistant to a CEO of a Third Party Administrator. He was old school, close to retirement and not into computer systems and learning about new technology.

He had a tickler system in place before I was employed at the Company and this was to stay the same. The Tickler file system consisted of an Accordion file with tabs pre-made from 1-31. This is for the days of the month. Any correspondence he received would get a number written at the top of the page. This was to be filed under that number.

The mail for each day would end up back in the Tickler File to be followed up on a certain date. Anything he handled got placed back into the Tickler File. This Accordion file was kept at my desk on top of a file cabinet so he had easy access to it at all times.

This is such an organized way to keep track of bills and mail into one compartmentalized unit. Accordion files expand and have a secure fastener to keep all items contained for easy storage.

At the start of each day you would gather all the documents from that date, work on them by paying the bill, making the phone call to gather data needed to take care of the business at hand. If you pay your bills online you will still need two days for processing. Therefore if a bill is due on the 15th of the month it would be best to place it under the number 12 to start the payment process.

For bills that are being sent through the post office you will need 5-7 days for mailing to make sure you do not get zapped with a late fee. Please take all these issues into consideration when placing items of importance into the Tickler File for handling at a later date.

This system can also be used for birthday cards to be mailed. Once a card has been purchased you can fill out the inside and address the card if it is being mailed. Next you would place it a few days earlier of the event to accommodate mailing. Otherwise the day of the birthday or day before is best.

If you have warranties that are up for expiration you could utilize this system for them and just keep them in there for the months leading up to the expiration date. Another tickler file could also be created for Months of the year, but that could turn out to be confusing. These are ideas to help with paper clutter and leave room on coffee tables, kitchen counters and wherever else mail piles can preside over in our homes.

A Tickler File can be used for teachers, homeschoolers, groups and clubs as well as office professionals. This way when a teacher or employee is sick anyone can pull out the related documents for that corresponding date. If you have an appointment in the morning before arriving at the office you can gather the next day items and place on the desks of those working on these documents so they are prepared first thing in the morning. This would be great for meeting agendas that need to be passed out and any photocopying.

The inbox will not be filled with documents that need to be perused. They will all be filed throughout the day in the Tickler File.

Here is a photo of an Accordion File. While searching for an accurate photo I came across a Tickler File System that includes an accordion file for 1-31, as well as for January through December, reminder forms and labels. This is a neat package that will organize your home and office in one day. This is also a perfect gift idea for the home office professional.

I like this system and plan to use it to stay on track with our homeschooling correspondence, test dates, meeting dates and conference calls.


...and she lived... said...

Wow thanks for the tip! This is a fantastic idea for someone like me who has ADHD. I feel like I'm always trying to "get" organized...never staying there. I'm constantly losing papers. I think this might work for me. Thank you so much!

Lilith Silvermane said...

This is a great idea for my blogging opportunities! I am always so worried about losing some documentation and this would help me a lot :)

Susanne F said...

In my early workings days we had that system too.

Not have been thinking about it for many years, I still use it just electronic now :-)