File System - How to Set Up an Organized Filing System

Is your file system organized? If not, then you need to check out the simple steps below to get your filing system organized as soon as possible.

Is your filing system organized or is it frustrating? Are you having problems finding files and documents or remembering where the files go? Do you have several files that contain similar information but have different labels? If this all sounds too familiar then your filing system is in a mess! :)



No worries, setting up an organized file system takes a little time at first but you will save enormous amounts of time in the future after it's set up. Follow the steps below to help you set up an organized filing system:

  • 1. Plan & Prepare - If your filing system isn't working for you then it is time to plan and create a truly effective filing system. Putting labels on your folders are good but this alone will not work. You need to plan and set up a filing system that can accommodate any type of paper for home or office. All you really need for supplies are several colors of 2/5 cut tab colored folders, some hanging folders and file labels.
  • 2. Create Broad File Categories - Start sorting your documents into broad categories from your current file system or if you have a pile of papers on your desk that you have been meaning to file for months. Example: "Church Fundraising" or "Vacation Bible School" and more. These are broad categories because there are many fundraisers such as building, construction, missions, youth camp, etc. At this point, do not focus on details of your filing system because right now it doesn't matter what kind of fundraiser it is. We will worry about details a little later on.
  • 3. Subcategorize - After you have all your broad file categories (documents...) in piles pick one of them and sort through it again but this time break your paper down into smaller subcategories. Example: "Church Fundraising" could be divided into "Building", "Missions", etc.

    Be as specific as possible this time. Don't create a category such as "Utilities" but specify which company (East Central Electric...) they belong to and break each one down into a separate pile by themselves. We want everyone to get his or her own separate folder. This definitely will make it easier and much quicker to find the file you need.

  • 4. Color Code Each Major Category - Assign each major or broad category of paperwork a different color whichever you prefer and then put each subcategory into that color of file folder. After you get through with the folders then all of that major category folders will go into one file hanging folder if possible. Example: "Church Fundraising" might be yellow and each of your fundraising accounts (Building, Missions, Youth Camp...) will have a separate yellow file folder. This might seem strange but color-coding your file system will save you lots of your precious time in filing and retrieving your papers.

    Just imagine looking into your filing system and seeing all your folders filled with paperwork broken down by colors neatly in hanging folders and knowing what color is your "Church Fundraising" and what color is your "Vacation Bible School" and finding your hand just naturally reaching for the correct part of your file drawer without much thinking at all - now that's organization! :)
  • 5. Creating Labels - You need to label each subcategory file folder now that has their own color per broad category. Label one hanging folder per each major category stating the name (Church Fundraising, Vacation Bible School, etc.). I personally like the Smead Viewables Labels because you can see this label from the front, top or back of the folder and you can also print them from your computer which makes them easier to read and will help with organization. Do not create a label called "Visa" for your subcategory folder credit card because if you have more than one credit card they will be separated so keep them together by creating labels called "Credit Card: Visa". Now when you create more folders for credit cards they will be all together.

    FYI: Remember to keep related files in close proximity with each other and do this with every grouping of files until you have labeled every file in each major category.
  • 6. Filing Documents into Your Filing Drawer - This is your last step! All you have to do now is put your files within each major category in alphabetical order in hanging folders putting as many folders as you can in each hanging folder without overcrowding. Make your color folders line up as straight as possible in the drawer for easy reading.

    When the time comes to find a document or to put something in a folder, just first look for the correct major category which is easily found by both the labels and the color.

With an organized file system it is easy to put your hands on the correct file without a lot of searching at all. I hope you find this filing system to be as easy for you as it is for me! I love it! :)


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Church Finances Accounting Book

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*Thank You! You're heart for giving free resources and making things so affordable is truly a blessing. My Pastor always says: "What you make happen for someone else, God will make happen for you!" May God richly bless you and your ministry to us and so many others, enlarge your territory and bring financial blessings with good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!!! 10,000 Blessings! Leeanna - U.S. *Disclaimer

*Thanks for making this site available. I took over as secretary of our small church a few months ago, and I am having to create a lot of forms. This site is a blessing! - Vicki - U.S. *Disclaimer

*After years of frustration and being overcharged for Church Management software, I came across "Shepherbase" and all my problems were solved. *Disclaimer

This database:
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Does your church use QuickBooks? If yes, then the "QuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations" by Lisa London, CPA eBook below is a must for you!

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Church Forms...CD

Collection of all the Church Forms, Flyers, Certificates...(800+) on FreeChurchForms.com available on CD - each form...in PDF and MS Word 2007 or higher version format. Plus 5 Free Bonuses such as Attendance Record in Excel that will automatically calculate church attendance!

The Church Forms CD is Convenient and Saves Time


Shepherdbase

Need an Affordable, User Friendly Church Membership Database? Shepherdbase Could Be Just What You Have Been Looking For.

  • User Friendly
  • Tracks Memberships, Contributions, Attendance, Etc.
  • Instant Access to Church Directory, Contributions, Attendance, Etc.

Special Offer!

Church Office Package

(Shepherdbase & Church Forms CD with 850+ forms, certificates, flyers...along with Free Bonuses)


Church Offering Envelope Templates

Very easy to download, modify and print on your blank envelopes.


Aplos - Church Accounting Software

Simple & Efficient!

Are you tired of complicated church accounting software? If yes, then you need to try Aplos!


Church Finances Accounting Book

Are you stressed about your church accounting? If yes, then you need this accounting book!


Instant Event Fundraising System

Does your church do any fundraisers?

If so, click on the link above to discover the Secrets to Earning Thousands of Dollars with Virtually ANY Fundraising Event!


Visitor Testimonials

*I do the tithes at the end of the year for a very small outreach in the city of Detroit. They had been paying thousands of dollars every several years trying to keep a database of their donors.

I searched last year for something less costly for them and came across your database (Shepherdbase). It is a blessing and so appreciated. Thank you for all your hard work and thank you for Giving To The Lord. Peacemakers Int. in Detroit on Chene street is another ministry you have blessed. - Charlene - U.S. *Disclaimer

*This website has been very useful for my ministries with Hospice, the Hospital and Human Services. I recommend this website to any church, ministry or agency that is supporting or ministering to people. God Bless You - Chaplain Dave - U.S. *Disclaimer

*Just wanted to let you know how helpful your resources are. We are a small church and have missed out on doing a lot of things. We ordered your Church Forms on CD and are just pleased. Keep up the good work of providing resources for Churches. - Lillian - U.S. *Disclaimer

*I am a minister of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and have been tremendously blessed to access you and pray that God the Almighty favor you in what you do. You have enabled me to access ready-designed church documents. Thanks and God Bless You Terressa. - Bro. Mike - Kenya, Africa *Disclaimer

*Thank You! You're heart for giving free resources and making things so affordable is truly a blessing. My Pastor always says: "What you make happen for someone else, God will make happen for you!" May God richly bless you and your ministry to us and so many others, enlarge your territory and bring financial blessings with good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!!! 10,000 Blessings! Leeanna - U.S. *Disclaimer

*Thanks for making this site available. I took over as secretary of our small church a few months ago, and I am having to create a lot of forms. This site is a blessing! - Vicki - U.S. *Disclaimer

*After years of frustration and being overcharged for Church Management software, I came across "Shepherbase" and all my problems were solved. *Disclaimer

This database:
  • 1. Tracks members and visitors
  • 2. Tracks contributions
  • 3. Organizes by both individual AND family
  • 4. Creates professional letters, relevant to church ministry
  • 5. Is easy to use
  • 6. Costs a mere fraction of other databases offering similar features. *Disclaimer
  • 7. So much more.

I am very thankful for this product and I recommend it to anybody wanting to exit the cost and complexity rat race of Church databases.
Thank you Shepherdbase!
Brandt *Disclaimer
Anchorage, Alaska

Read More FreeChurchForms.com Testimonials...


Does your church use QuickBooks? If yes, then the "QuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations" by Lisa London, CPA eBook below is a must for you!

Lisa will walk you through QuickBooks from start to finish, complete with examples, terminology, and everything a busy church administrator or bookkeeper needs to know. For more information just click the link above!