They don’t trust systems, if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind; they’re worried they won’t find it again. So they pile. They pile on their desks, they pile on the floor, and they pile on the window ledge. If there’s a surface – it has a pile on it. The great thing about these kinds of people is that they are the masters of multi-tasking and problem solving. They have all kinds of projects on the go, are active members of committees.
THE PILER organizes chronologically not alphabetically. Also unlike the rest of us mortals “current” to a PILER can be up to three years ago! If they have a pile in their office it’s because that pile has something, some piece of information, that potentially holds an answer to something (another pile) they are working on now. Thus they can’t put it away yet – they still need it. The piling system of the PILER only becomes a problem for them when they run out of space to pile. They know exactly what each pile is about and when it was created… so don’t move their piles or they will have a panic attack as they won’t be able to find anything anymore. So when a PILER does finally file something away, it’s when it’s ready for archiving.
We find The Piler has the biggest issues around paper management. So lets take a deeper look at The Why’s of piles of paper in the office. When it comes to paper people have 3 fears
- Afraid to make a decision
- Afraid to discard anything
- Afraid you’ll never see it again
If you can’t find what you are looking for in 5 seconds your system is not working for you. Seriously.
It is not that Pilers don’t having a filing system, let alone a filing cabinet – they just don’t use them actively. To The Piler practically everything is “work in progress”. They are gifted multi-taskers so they can have a lot of projects that they are currently working on.
The filing system for The Piler needs to respect their thinking process. The traditional systems for filing – alphabetical and categories – simply don’t work for The Piler. They need a system that supports the chronological process they use. They can have categories, however these categories will need to be more like “groups” than categories.
Work In Progress
This is where the piling for The Piler starts – with their current work. There are many options out there that can help keep the piles manageable, safe, and efficient. A drawer system is good, or a shelf specifically for each pile. Another option are hanging file folders with the wide bottoms.