Office Filing and Indexing - Types of Filing | 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 5 : Filing and Indexing

Chapter: 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 5 : Filing and Indexing

Types of Filing

The important types or methods of modern filing are:

Types of Filing:


The important types or methods of modern filing are:


1. Horizontal or Flat Filing:


Under this method the documents or letters are placed in a horizontal or flat position one on the top of another in order of date and the latest is on the top. The letters are filed along with their replies. These files come in a variety of folders. More important of horizontal files are discussed below:


i. Lever Arch Files: It is a very popular type of horizontal file. It can be described as a strong card-board folder which contains strong metal arches which can be opened with the help of a lever. Records to be filed are punched with two holes with the help of the punching machine either at the top or on the left hand side of the forms, and are then files on the metal uprights, after the arch has been opened by the lever. The arch lever file facilitates alphabetical division which is done by inserting thick cards at suitable places. The great advantage of this file is that papers can be inserted or taken out with great ease without disturbing the order of other papers in the file. The file also offers the advantage of proper preservation of papers free from mutilation and dust, if the files are stored properly in the almirahs.


ii. Flat Files: The “files” (or covers) are made of cardboard or thick paper. A separate cover is allotted to each subject or customer, which contains all the relevant correspondence and documents in this file. The received letters and invoices posted and other relevant documents get filed in the chronological order where a letter or a document needs to be filed at more than one place, the necessary number of copies is made and filed in each relevant file. The flat file has metal hinges which are inserted into the holes punched by the punching machine.


The prepared files are stored in almirahs and placed on top of each other. They are also stored in drawers.


Advantages of Horizontal Filing:

1.           It is a simple method to operate.

2.           It is a cheap method to install.

3.           The papers are kept in order in which they have been filed.

4.           Speedy reference can be made to papers without removing them.

5.           The contents are kept clear and dust free, especially where good covers and almirahs are used.


Drawbacks of Horizontal Filing:


1.           Papers cannot be taken out without dislocating other papers because the latest document is on top where a flat file is used.

2.           Where a file has become bulky, location of papers become very difficult.

3.           It is suitable for offices where transactions are not many.

4.           This method does not allow for expansion behind a certain point.

5.           It requires an index to find out the concerned file.


2. Vertical Filing:


This method of filing can be said to be the most modern. It is so named because the contents are kept in an upright or standing position. This method of filing is the result of the growing needs of business organization. The greatest drawback of the horizontal filing is the time consumed in locating a paper or document. As the business expands, the bulk of papers increases and location of a paper becomes difficult and time consuming activity, vertical filing eliminates this drawback of horizontal filing. Hence it has become a very popular method of filing in large offices where number of subjects is large.


Advantages of Vertical Filing:

Vertical filing offers many advantages over horizontal filing, which are summarized below:


1. Economical: Vertical filing is more economical on account of two reasons.

·              The folders are cheap, and

·              Many folders can be accommodated by a single filing cabinet.

Hence there is saving in terms of money as well as space.


2. Ready Reference: Any paper can be traced without wasting time. This is possible because there is a separate folder for each customer or subject and its contents are easily known due to description given on the tab or projected part of the back sheet. Besides, any paper can be inserted and taken out with great ease in a short time.


3. Elasticity: Filing cabinets provide ample scope for expansion of filing facility. A single drawer can accommodate a large number of folders. As the number of folders increases the same drawer can be accommodate more folders upto some extent.


4. Safety and Security: Greater safety is another feature of this method of filing. Papers do not get torn or gather dust since they are well- protected by manilafolders kept safety in drawers, which can also be locked to provide security to confidential documents.


5. Universal Application: Vertical filing has proved useful in preserving all types of papers, documents and memorandum. Orders, invoices, letters, quotations, tenders, government circulars, etc., can be filed with great ease and preserved without difficulty.


6. Adaptability: Vertical filing can be easily adapted to all types of classification. The folders can be arranged alphabetically, numerically, geographically, subject-wise or on some other basis according to the needs of an individual office.


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