Office administrators are regularly filing and retrieving information for their own projects and at the request of their employers or clients. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they do not have time to search through cluttered spaces. If you’re pursuing a career in administration, simple file management habits can help reduce stress and simplify your working life.
The most useful and effective systems are tailored to the people who use them, and once you become an office administrator, you’ll want to develop your own filing method. Here are some essential tips to help you get started:
Successful Office Administrators Stay Consistent
Once you start your studies, you’ll learn a lot about document analysis, financial control, operations management, and more. It’s easy to go overboard, but the key to best utilizing this information in the office is to start with a few broad categories, then work your way down to more specific ones.
For space and efficacy, not every topic needs its own binder or folder. Marked sections and dividers will organize files after you make the broader initial choices for large, inclusive categories.
It’s also important to follow a consistent method for naming and marking your files and folders. This makes it easier to seamlessly integrate new documents as time goes on, and helps you identify documents at a glance.
Professional Administrators Prioritize Files for Urgency
An expert with an office administrator diploma knows the value of setting personal priorities. Client inquiries, employee management and administrative paperwork—some responsibilities inevitably become more pressing than others.
Filing can help you best visualize your schedule, leading to effective time management. Organizing documents by date and importance makes it clear to see what needs to be done and when. Keeping current projects accessible and storing completed work is also best practice. These habits will become second nature as your system gets put to good use.
Digitizing Documents for Modern Office Administration
Office administration training teaches proficiency in today’s top word processing, bookkeeping, and accounting programs. Grads learn to successfully archive paper documents in efficient digital filing systems like Quickbooks and ACCPAC.
From computer hard drives to cloud storage, digital file storage saves businesses physical space, and helps administrators quickly and easily access files long lodged away. It’s no wonder that a great deal of administrators’ workload has gone digital. The right training and technology can help you keep up.
Office Life Keeps Administrators on Their Toes
Even if an administrator’s filing system is indeed mostly digital, he or she will still notice various forms or flyers finding their way onto their desk. These include everything from important company information with original signatures to employee memos and scrap papers.
Organizational expert and author of How to Conquer Clutter Stephanie Culp suggests tackling these with a simple four-basket filing method:
- A to-do basket: for the day’s relevant files, to be kept atop your desk.
- A to-pay basket: for collecting bills and financial invoices.
- A to-file basket: for new documents that need adding to the digital database or filing cabinet.
- A Waste Basket: to toss things that are no longer useful or worth keeping.
It’s straight-forward and worth trying out at your next workspace. If not baskets, folders with these headings can also help administrators manage their daily tasks.
Maximize Gains: Re-evaluating Your System
Good office administrators will interact with their files on a daily basis. Over time, they’ll notice that one file is underused, while another file might be bulging. This is when they need to tweak their system, creating subcategories by topic or by date, or adjusting folder names to accommodate a small and underused file.
The freedom to make meaningful changes is what creating a personalized filing system is about!
Are you interested in pursuing office administration? Visit the National Academy of Health & Business for more information or to speak with an advisor.