How to: Use a working file to tame the in-process paper pile


I snicker when I hear the term "tickler file." I can't help it!

No matter. A tickler file (I call it "working file") is a powerful tool for organizing the papers that pile up because they're too in-process to stow away in the filing cabinet, but not so immediate you need them right away.

At Simple Mom, April gives one of the best how-tos I've seen for using a tickler/working file in conjunction with your calendar/to-do list. Check it out.

Read the full post at Simple Mom: Clearing the “Counter Pile” with a Tickler File

More: Hacks for filing and paper management


  1. chris says

    I do this with my coupons! Sorting into categories never works and then you’ve got to go back through every month and purge the expired ones. I only save coupons for what we actually use so there’s a limited amount in there at any given time. Die hard couponers couldn’t do this, far too many coupons and planning involved, but for me it works perfect.

  2. Daffodil says

    I *love* this idea, but I so need another name. “Tickler” file is just too twee and silly for me. And “working” file gets me confused with, well, work. Hmmmm… maybe “Planning” file? But I digress. This is so awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    This is straight out of the GTD (Getting Things Done by David Allen) “handbook”. You can even take it one step further and add 31 more folders for days of the current month. Everything else (for subsequent months) are put in the 12 folders and then at the beginning of each month you empty that month’s papers into the the 28-31 folders. Then you’re even less likely to need to know or have a list of things you have to get done, just take a peek in that day’s folder! I’ve seen it organized pretty well in a small open stand-up file folder.