November 16, 2013   by
How to keep Chama documents safe and organized

How to keep Chama documents safe and organized

In the Chama, we have very important documents that we need to keep handy and organized. You never know when you will suddenly need to find the Chama bylaws for reference. Or perhaps you will need to go back to minutes of two or three years. Keeping records for the Chama is the Secretary’s job. By keeping these papers neat and organized she will be helping to make the Chama life a lot easier in the long run. So what is the best way to organize these documents?

You will first want to begin by getting a filing cabinet that can be located in the Chama’s office or in the Secretary’s home just for your important Chama documents. Buy a file cabinet and file folders. File cabinet size will depend upon the amount of paper files you will be ending up with and if you are planning to expand your filing system in the future. Inside the cabinet you will want to have folders. Colored file folders work best for organizing. Each folder should be clearly labeled with the year for each set of documents that are included inside. Make up separate folders for each year and hold on to at least the past four to five years. This may seem long, but better safe than sorry. I would also recommend keeping some of your recent bank statements and cheque books in this storage area as well. You should have at least two years worth of bank statements which is recommend. Here are more tips on how to be efficient with your filing.

File immediately

When you receive a document from for the Chama, it’s tempting to just put it away for the time being. After a while, many such documents build up, leading to a lot of clutter. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever find time to go back and get all of that information organized, especially considering that you’re usually under pressure with other things. You can spend hours of precious time searching for documents that you’ve filed away somewhere, because it’s easy to forget where you put it – or even to forget that you have the document in the first place. So how can you go about simplifying your work? Get better at managing files.

Avoid keeping unnecessary documents

As the Chama Secretary, don’t make a habit of filing everything that finds its way to you. Take a few seconds to glance through the content, and save a document only if it’s relevant to your Chama activity. Having too many unnecessary documents adds to clutter and makes it harder to find things in the future. Be selective about what you keep.

Consistent naming

Follow a consistent method for naming your files and folders. Give shortened names to identify what or whom the folders relate to. What’s more, you can even give a different appearance or look to different categories of folders – this can make it easy to tell them apart at first glance.

Store related documents together, whatever their type

For example, bank statements, letters, related to a particular project in a single folder – rather than having one folder for presentations for all projects, another folder for spreadsheets for all projects, and so forth. This way, it’s much quicker to find documents for a particular project.

It may seem like an uphill task to get all of the paper work organized but it will be worth it in the long run. Often when people have an emergency occur more stress is added to their day simply because they can not find the paper work that they need.

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