Methods of filing: alphabetical. Numerical, geographical, chronological and subject wise
Based on classification of files
Classification of files refers to the process of selecting heading under which documents are grouped or classified on the basis of common characteristics. The bases of classification are as follows:
1. Alphabetical classification
The filing method under which files and folders are arranged in order of alphabets of the names of person or institution concerned with such file is alphabetical classification. It is most popular and common method of filing. In case name of more than one person starts with same letter then second letter of name is taken into consideration. It is flexible method. It is used in both small and large organization.
• Simple and easy to understand
• Doesn’t need separate index
• It is flexible
• Time consuming
• Difficult to arrange files
• Difficult to locate in case of common names
2. Numerical classification
The filing method under which files and folders are arranged in order of number is called numerical classification. All files and folders are given separate numbers. It is indirect method of classification of filing. In this filing alphabetical index is required. It includes name, address, phone number, subject and other information along with file number.
• Suitable for large offices having large number of files and folders
• Accurate method of filing
• It is flexible
• Separate index can be easily developed using numbers.
• It is expensive
• It is time consuming
• Not suitable for small organization
• It is not easy to operate
• Separate alphabetical index is required.
3. Subjective classification
In this filing method, records are classified according to their subject; letters and documents are classified and arranged in files and folders into subject or sub-subject wise. In this filing, subject must be arranged alphabetically. It is widely used in those cases where subject is more important than the name of the person or organization. All documents relating to same subject are filed together in one file.
• Simple to operate
• Easy to locate
• Not applicable for filing miscellaneous subject
• Time consuming
• Difficult to locate when subject matter is not properly understood
4. Geographic classification
In this method, files are grouped according to the geographical location of firm, organization or person. Under this method name of places are written in file and are arranged in drawer either in alphabetical or numerical order whichever is suitable for organization. It used in multinational companies or those organizations whose business and branches are located in many places of the nation or the world.
• Easy to understand and use
• Can be arranged in alphabetical and numerical order
• It used in those organizations whose business is engaged in correspondence with the businesses all over the globe or the nation.
• Not suitable for small scale organization
• Time consuming
• No use of card or index
5. Chronological classification
In this method, files and folders of documents are arranged in an order of their date, day, and time. In an office, several letters and documents may be received and dispatched. They all are arranged according to time and date when they were received and dispatched
• Simple to understand and easy to operate
• Quickly located if their dates are known.
• Less expensive
• Not suitable for large offices
• When clear dates are not mentioned then there can be difficulty.
Importance of filing
1. It helps to keep all records together so the history of office can be understood.
2. It helps to provide safety place for storage of necessary documents in order to use and locate then when required.
3. To make records readily and easily available.
4. It can be used as evidence in case of dispute
5. It helps in some legal formalities.
6. It is shown as profit or legal evidence.
7. It can be presented as a legal document in court.
8. It helps to make future plans. Past records are the base of future records
Qualities of good filing system
1. Simple: It should be easy and simple to be understood by the entire employees.
2. Economy: Filing should be cheap and must come under the budget of the organization. The installation and operation cost should be low.
3. Compactness: It should be compact and should not take unnecessary space
4. Accessibility: Files and folders must be preserved for future and must be easily accessible.
5. Suitable: It should be suitable for any kind o organization. It should meet the requirement of business
6. Flexible: It should be flexible enough. It must be dynamic and changeable according to the needs of an organization
7. Safety: A good filing system must preserve all the necessary documents from insects, dust, fire, water and so on
8. Indexing: A good filing system must have proper indexing
9. Classification: The files should be classified in a proper way so that it helps in easy location.