active file system, amazing!

This is by Heidi DeCoux. See, fast filing method.

It’s an Active Filing System:  needed – a small file box to be kept accessible, hanging files and manila folders.

Active files are the ones you’re in and out of day to day.  The Main system is your typical file system.  She actually has a great one which we eventually will adopt, but for now, it’s the Active System that has saved us from the mass of papers that come in the door that need dealing with.

So that system goes like this: Two main hanging files (the green ones or whatever color you like. “Action” and “Reference”.

You can add any more that are specific to you. i.e. I have one called “evening work” which includes a Bible Quizzing folder, school work like extra writing, spelling words etc.)

“Action” (a green hanging file) holds folders that you will be in and out of throughout the week.  Actually, she recommends setting an appointment with yourself each week to go through Hot Action and Warm Action. There are 4 main manila folders labeled:

1. “Hot Action: This Week”  In this folder goes any piece of paper, regardless of type of infomration, that must be handled within the  week.  Permission slips, rsvps, forms etc.

2. “Warm Action: This Month” In this folder is anything that must be handled soon – within the month.  But is not urgent.  Also, irrespective of type of information.

3. “To Read”  Anything that must be read, but is not necessarily a magazine (those would go where you usually put them…) This is reading like, prayer letters, something you printed off the internet to read etc.

4. “To File” Anything that needs to find it’s home in your Main filing system but you will put it there all in one trip every so often.

“Reference” (next green hanging file) holds stuff that needs to be refered to from time to time but doesn’t require current action. There are 3 main manila folders ( i have a couple more specific to our home, you will too, likely…)

1. “Waiting for Response” this is when you’ve contacted your insurance and you’re waiting to hear back from them on a claim – the piece of paper goes in here. etc.

2. “Upcoming events” holds anything that pertains to events you have coming up (directions, invitations which have already been responded to (b/c it was in your hot action folder! – tickets, reservations etc.)

3. “Bills Paid” read her stuff on this.  I don’t use this one because we handle our bills differently…

Personal Notes: I have a folder  here called “CCS” for main info on  school stuff.  I also have one called “Ideas/ Notes” to hold the scribbled from brainstorming sessions and conversations Tim and I have…

Tim’s folders went a little differently because we tailored it to the way he works.  In his “action” we subdivided it into:

“Action: Money”  – Bills, Giving Organizations etc. and

“Action: Paper” – Hot Action: This week, Correspondence, To Read, etc.

And his “reference” is also a little extended including additional things like Coupons, To Do lists, Ideas/ NOtes etc.

I also have a hanging file for each child with two folders in it. For instance, one is “Bekah – General” and the other “Bekah- School” . These hold all the reference info, report cards, personal stuff that comes for them, plus school work I want to keep. I don’t keep action items in here.  Anything that needed action would be in my Hot Action folders.

This system really works!  It’s flexible, works with you and is easily modifiable.  THough don’t make too many folders or it ceases to be simple and workable.  Call me if you want more specifics or clarification.


thanks to my sister Biz who introduced me to it!


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