Noguchi Filing System

I dislike filing stuff, but I like being organized. Are these things mutually exclusive? Yes and no. GTD has given me a good reason and a consistent method for always having things filed. What I struggle with is the taxonomy of filing. Does this homeowner’s insurance document go in “Household” or “Insurance?” A small classification speed bump like this can mean the difference between having something filed or just thrown away out of frustration and laziness. Enter The Noguchi Filing System. I missed the buzz about this a month or so ago, but it just might help.


Basically the system consists of nothing more than taking the pile of crap on and around your desk, turning it sideways and putting it on a shelf – individually wrapped in manila envelopes. New stuff goes on the left. Anything you pull off the shelf goes back on the left. The idea is that you’re more likely to know about when you filed something than where you filed it. It also causes infrequently used items to gravitate to the right, meaning it’s easy to find the “holy” files and box em up or throw away stuff you just don’t use. I may try it at home.