Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Pretty" File Folder Labels-Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Do you ever feel like giving up on your filing system looking "pretty"? Have you ever decided to "Just Do It" and make computer generated labels only to discover that it's impossible to keep it up as you add new files. It just takes too much time. There are too many steps involved to do it quickly. Why bother?

I asked myself all those questions many times before I came up with a solution. I used to get so frustrated with trying to keep my files looking good that I would just use my handy dandy pencil to make a new folder and tell myself, "Who cares if they're pretty, anyway!" I would get around to making a new pretty label later (much, much later, if ever!).

As much as I told myself it didn't matter, I soon discovered that I cared if they were pretty! I found that I wanted the uniformity and more importantly, I wanted my files to be easy to read so I could find what I was looking for faster. After years of this, I finally realized that in order to keep the files "pretty" I had to do something to make it easy to print new labels as soon as I made a new folder. Here's how to make uniform, pretty labels in 3 easy steps:

1. Buy file folder labels from any office supply store and follow the directions to create a template for your labels on Microsoft Word. I use white Laser/Ink Jet Filing Labels Avery 8366 but you could use colored labels or removable if you want to get fancy. If you are not very "computer literate" don't worry! This is much easier than you think it's going to be so stick with me. Once you've opened Microsoft Word go to Tools, Letters and Mailings, Envelopes and Labels. Click on Options. From the list choose product number 8366-File Folder (or the number that matches your labels). Now click Okay. You should be back to the Labels window. Just make sure Full Page of the Same Label is selected and click New Document. Now you can choose your favorite font and type in all your file names. Print and apply your labels.

2. Create a shortcut file to your desktop so you can print new file labels with ease! Now you want to save this document on your desktop. You do this by going to File then Save As. Here you want to choose Desktop from the Save in: menu to the left of the Save As window. (It sounds more complicated than it is, trust me!) Type the name of your document in the File Name box. Call it "File Folder Labels" and click Save.

3. Keep a few sheets of labels in a folder labeled "LABELS" :) and keep it near your computer/printer. From now on when it's time to make a new label all you have to do is pull a sheet of labels out of your "LABELS" folder, open the "File Folder Labels" document on your desktop and make changes to the template. The key here is to clear the old file folder labels you've already printed and start fresh each time you make new labels. Don't try to save each new change (I've tried that and it's too confusing!). Just type the new file labels on your cleared template, print the new ones and be done with it! If you really want to save your file labels save them in another place/folder on your computer and not on the desktop template that you made.

Once you do it a few times you might actually start to think of labeling files as "fun"...or maybe that's just me again! Good luck and let me know how it goes or if you have any other great filing tips!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

A few people have asked me if you can run the sheet of labels through your printer more than once in order to print just one or two labels at a time. It seems like I read the label packaging once and it didn't recommend it, but I do it ALL the time and the labels stick just fine.


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