How Best to Sort Paper Files
August 28, 2006 10:50 AM   Subscribe

When filing papers in a hanging folder, is it better / more common to add new items at the front of the folder or the back of the folder?

I have always added new items in the back, so that folders are sorted chronologically front to back. My wife adds new items in the front. I would like to know if there is a global standard for this, and whether there are reasonable arguments that one or the other represents a best practice.
posted by alms to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
I add new items in the front, because odds are when I go to look for something, it's relatively new. When I was first taught to file during a summer high school job at Motorola, that's how they did it.
posted by Not in my backyard at 10:55 AM on August 28, 2006

Spent several years as a clerk for the army. New stuff always in the front.
posted by furtive at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

Alms, aside from stating the snarky obvious of you really do have far too much time on your hands to even ponder this question, I too support the new stuff in front.

As with Nimby, the practice was taught to me at my first job and hasn't let me down. Chances are its the newer stuff you go back to more often and digging all the way in the back for stuff each time you open the hanging folder is dangerous because you incur a greater risk of death by papercut.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2006

I put new stuff in the back. Seemed self-evident. Wife does it the other way. Mutual confusion ensued.
posted by sohcahtoa at 11:22 AM on August 28, 2006

Dude, don't go to the internet to win an argument with your wife.
posted by smackfu at 11:29 AM on August 28, 2006

you really do have far too much time on your hands

I have too little time on my hands. That's why I want my filing standardized.

Dude, don't go to the internet to win an argument with your wife.

It's not about winning the argument, it's about avoiding sohcahtoa's fate!
posted by alms at 11:41 AM on August 28, 2006

Really? I am more than estastic if the right paper gets into the right folder in a timely manner. (Just checked the bottom of my TO FILE pile for y'all - June 17, 2005! Yikes!)
posted by typewriter at 11:52 AM on August 28, 2006

I file new stuff in the front, but at the end of each year, that year's paperwork (bills, statements, etc) gets pulled out, sorted chronologically (January on top, December at the back), binder-clipped and archived (box in storage).
posted by misterbrandt at 12:11 PM on August 28, 2006

My government employer insists on new stuff at the front.
posted by raedyn at 12:12 PM on August 28, 2006

You should feel lucky. My wife stuffs papers into whatever drawer is closest at hand. I think she rebels against organization at home since she's so hyper-organized at work.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 4:52 PM on August 28, 2006

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