The last article I wrote went over how to make a Forty-three Folders Tickler system. I described how to put it together to make it ready for use. I want to go over some uses for the system this time. The tickler system is useful for managing papers. Think of it as your analog inbox. Papers come in and go into the system. This keeps things organized, neat and ready for your use.
Take all predated papers and place them in the system in the month or number folder it will be needed. If it is needed on July 13 and it is March 21 then put it into the July folder. When it is July first the paper will be put into the 13 folder. If it is March 21 and the paper is needed on March 28th then put it directly into the 28 folder.
Analog Holders for Digital Information
It is possible to use a tickler system to track digital or other tasks. You can put holder pages in the system. These can be either index cards or full size paper. Use these holder cards just like you would use the predated papers. You can also reuse the holders for repeating items.
Other Notes About a Tickler System
Some thoughts from my family’s use of the system:
- If you use the wrong container or keep it in the wrong place it will fall over and spill.
- I prefer hanging file folders over manila file folders.
- A similar system can be used using only index cards for daily and weekly chores.
Hacks on The Tickler System
I found some hacks for the system which you may find useful. These come from the website 43Folders:
- Bill reminder - When you have paid a quarterly bill, stick it in the next due month to remind you of the forthcoming payment. –RB 05:50, 11 Apr 2005 (EDT)
- Recurring events - How to remember birthdays and other annually recurring events: Print out a list of the days in each month (31, 29, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31) in a straight column down the left side of the page. Write the birthdays beside the appropriate days in the list. Put each list in a monthly folder. Offset it (i.e. November birthday list goes in the October folder) so that a birthday during the first week of the month won’t mess you up. Now each month when you dump that list in your inbox you can add the next month’s birthdays to your calendar, and plan on cards, gifts, parties, and so on.
- Monthly tickler - The 12 Folders plus 31 doesn’t work for me (too complex), but since years I have used a folder with 12 monthly pages – and this works. 18 Jul 2005
- Bookmarks - I was thinking, sometimes there’s a site that I want to visit at a future date but either always forget or print off the page and stick it in the tickler file (which takes up space and trees). As a solution, why not create a tickler file in your PC’s bookmarks and check it daily for stuff you wanted to look at later. In Opera, I know that you can right-click on a folder of bookmarks and ‘Open all folder items’ … a real timesaver. –Michael Negus 08:54, 28 Jul 2005 (GMT)
- Web Pages and Electronic 43 Folders - Using the IMAP based email tickler and an IMAP server that supports “extensions” When I see a web page I want to visit later I choose ‘File->send link’ and send it to ‘[email protected]’ (assuming I want to look at it over the weekend – my 44th folder). It is delivered directly to my tickler folder.
- Calendar Mask - Overlay calendar information on the tickler file by ordering the tabs by weekday so that (at a glance) you can tell which folder is for this Saturday, or next Monday. (NOTE: I start my weeks on Monday rather than Sunday, so the first tab on the left is Monday, and the last two on the right are the weekEND.) It requires moving the tabs as you move today’s folder to the back, but big deal. (see photo) — Ross DeMeyere, 23:22, 27 Jan 2006 (GMT)
Good luck with your Tickler system.