Moms can keep track of all the school papers, invitations, and more with an easy to set up tickler file system. Never lose a permission slip or party invitation ever again!
My tickler file system supports my Erin Condren Life Planner and Evernote/Nozbe planning tools. Some people set theirs up to be used daily. I prefer to use mine as a weekly file system which I review once a week during my weekly review.
How to Set up a Tickler File System
Setting up a tickler file system takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on how fancy you would like your weekly files to be.
Sterilite Corp. 16928006 Storage Crate
|I keep my crate on top of a filing cabinet in my office. It’s easy to access for me and the kids.If the kids want me to file schoolwork for later, they leave it on top of the storage crate.If you plan on storing school papers in your tickler file system, get a large storage crate for lots of room.|
Smead Hanging File Folders, 1/5-Cut Tab, Letter Size, Assorted Primary Colors, 25 Per Box (64059)
|Your hanging file folders will last the lifetime of your filing system. You’ll need 12 of these, one for each month of the year.|
Pendaflex File Folders with InfoPocket, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut, Assorted Colors, 30 Folders per Pack (02086)
|Have some fun with your file folders! You’ll need 52 of these for each week of the year.|
|Scotch Expressions Washi Tape||Since I believe in reusing my file folders as much as possible, I use washi tape for labeling the weeks.I like to flip my file folders inside out when re-using them the following year.|
Sharpie 75846 Fine Point Permanent Marker, Assorted Colors, 24-Pack
|I use a permanent Sharpie marker for writing on my file folders. I never worry about the ink wearing off, plus it doesn’t bleed through the cardstock.|
Putting Together Your Tickler File System
1. Grab a calendar showing all the weeks of the year. I like to start my system with July 1st, a habit I picked up when I was homeschooling my oldest son. August 1st is another good starting date since many schools start the new year in late August.
2. Label your individual file folders chronologically. Decide now whether you start your week with Sunday or Monday. I like to use Sunday as my first day of the week. I label my file folder like this:
July 5 – 11 or June 28 – July 4
3. Set up the hanging file folders in the crate and label the 12 months using the tabs provided in the package. You can buy the tabs by themselves if you need new ones.
4. Put the file folders into the monthly hanging file folders.
5. As you finish each month, move that hanging file folder to the back of the crate. I like to clean out unnecessary papers before moving the hanging file to save storage space.
What to Keep in Your Tickler File System
- information for upcoming events and activities
- registration receipts for sports, events, and activities
- medical forms that need to be dropped off during an appointment
- school lunch information
- school work
Take 10 minutes to process all the papers everyday. I like to do this shortly after my kids get home, but sometimes I’ll do it after dinner. Ones needing a check go into the bill file if they have a due date more than one week. Others are handled immediately and go back in the folder in the back pack.
Requests for volunteers – Decide immediately if interested. Check the calendar for availability and make a decision. Send the paper back the next day in the folder.
School projects and homework – Review the homework journal for upcoming project due dates. Discuss the project with your child and set up times on the calendar to work on the project. Once the times are scheduled, it’s easy to keep the project moving along. Make sure any supplies needed are on your errand list for the week.
Donations – Decide if you need to buy anything and put those items on the errand list. Put the reminder in the tickler file for the week due.
Sports schedules – put these on the calendar immediately and review for conflicts. Keep schedules in the planner or in a file with the tickler files.
Reviewing the papers and handling them takes 10 to 15 minutes each day. Filing the time-sensitive ones and the ones needing a check require another 5 minutes. You’ll be grateful for the time spent the evening before.
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