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I have loads of documents which are in a Smead folder like this, but as the documents grow (of all sizes and shaped ranging from check books, A4 size documents etc) the folder is too fat to carry (at times I need to carry them). But 95% of the time they are at home, but for that 5% I carry the whole folder since I am afraid if I take any out, I will lose track of the files or something.

So, what do you suggest? What is a pragmatic way of organizing files of different types (govt docs, bank docs, investment, job doc etc) in one single place??

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2 Answers

I don't understand what the question really is. There are two aspects:

Do you want to have a more effective way how to sort the documents? Then sort them in a hierarchy like this: 1. job (subfolders 1.1 job A, 1.2 job B). Every time a category gets big enough it gets split up. Keep a good track of the hierarchy structure. This of course means that you will end up with more than a single folder, and can't carry around all of them.

Or is it the huge weight/volume of all that stuff? Then I'm afraid, you can't really do a thing about that other than scan all documents and only carry an electronic copy with you. It helps to sort the files just like you would do with physical documents.

My personal approach is this: I sort physical documents in a hierarchy like I wrote. If they are important they are scanned and stored on my computer. A good backup strategy (Apple time machine and an off-site backup every two weeks) saves them from fire or theft of my computer. Really important documents are stored in a safe deposit box and I only have a physical copy/scan at home.

Whenever I need to bring a physical document with me I take it out of its folder and put it back ASAP (in reality it sits on my desk until I clean it up...)

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Evernote - absolutely evernote.

I've reached the point where I don't have any paper documents, everything that comes to me as paper is stored in evernote via my iPhone camera if it's small or my photocopier's "email as pdf" scanning function. So I can access everything all of the time as long as I have my laptop or phone or just an internet connection. :)

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