The age-old tickler filing system may not have the sexiest name, but it is a powerful time management tool to track tasks. Following are nine steps to turn the old fashioned filing system into a customized machine to help you organize your daily tasks.
1. Make space for 50-60 hanging file folders in the easiest-to-access place in your office.
2. Gather 50 high-quality hanging file folders (in your favorite color or colors) & 50 clear tabs. (The daily files consume 43 folders: 12 for the months & 31 for the days. Most people have another half-dozen or so files they add to complete their system.)
3. Customize & print your tickler tabs (we have several to choose from at the bottom of this post), and then slip them between the plastic flaps.
4. Then insert the tabs into the front (Illustration 1) of the hanging file folder. Consider using straight-line techniques or color to separate the months from the days from the extras (Illustration 2).
5. Arrange the hanging file folders in their space in this order or in an order you prefer: Scrap Paper –> Waiting for Response –> 1-31 –> Jan-Dec –> Other
6. Rotate the files so the day you are experiencing is the day at the front (Illustration 3).
7. Convert your current tasks to reminder sheets (one per sheet) & drop into your trusty new system. When you’re stuck, ask, “when is the next time I want to be reminded to this?” (You go through a lot of paper in the beginning, but this subsides the more you use the system.)
8. Commit to using the system every day.
9. Rejoice in the liberation & peace of mind you just created.
Select one of these tickler tab sets by clicking the image you want. Further customize after opening. Test print. And then print a final copy on Avery 5167 Return Address labels. You’ll make all your colleagues jealous!
What tickler tricks do you think others should know?