ADHD: Visible Filing Systems
In addition to this “instant visibility” filing system, this gentleman uses transparent plastic folders, instead of the opaque manila file folders common here in the United States, to store informatio
Many Hunters report that the problem with filing things is that they’re then lost forever. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is a saying that must have been first written by an ADHD individual, because it’s so true. Even the existence of file folders and filing systems is often forgotten, because the drawers are closed and their contents are now “invisible.”
The founder and president of one of Germany’s largest charities has a filing system which eliminates this problem. Behind his desk is a tubular metal system which contains about four dozen small wire baskets, each about two inches high, ten inches wide, and a foot or so deep. The front of each basket has a small paper tag on it, identifying its contents.
In addition to this “instant visibility” filing system, this gentleman uses transparent plastic folders, instead of the opaque manila file folders common here in the United States, to store information, papers, and other things.
The most important of the data or papers is on top, and can be instantly seen through the cover of the folder, which instead of being open on three sides (like a manila file folder) is only open on the right side and the top. Things don’t fall out, they’re immediately recognizable, and the system works.
When I first saw his system, I assume it was something that he’d developed, as he’s a rather Hunter-ish fellow himself. Living and working in Germany for a year, however, I saw similar systems in offices all over the country.
In some of the larger office-supply stores here in the United States you can now find these types of systems, and they may one day become the norm for Hunters in the business world.
Martha in Las Vegas uses colors to organize things:
I read somewhere that ADHD people are often very creative and very visual. I know that I am. So when the office supply store started carrying colored file folders a few years ago, I thought that was a great idea and started using them.
I use the Pendaflex folders to hold general categories of things. Within those, I use colored file folders. I’m a secretary for a small business, so I’ve assigned colors to each of the people here, and that works for me because I may have several different people’s expense reports in the expense report file, for example, and now it’s easier to find them.
I imagine you could use any other sort of color-coding system, though, for whatever your situation was. Not only do the colors help keep things organized, but they also make my files more interesting to look at!