The literal meaning of a TICKLER system is a dated filing system that eliminates the piles, files and lists that clutter up your life. The system consists of 43 folders: one for each month, labeled January-December and one for each day of the month, labeled 1-31.

This Ticker System should be the hub of your “Command Center” in your home office or kitchen. It should be utilized in conjunction with a calendar at minimum and a planner for maximum efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.

It is not a reference filing area where papers are housed for long-term holding such as tax info, legal documents, or research papers. Those go into a filing cabinet. The rule of thumb is these papers need/want to be acted upon this month in particular and this year definitely.

The best way to organize your active papers (papers you’re using now or need in the near future) is to create a GO Box (stands for Get Organized). This will include a Tickler System. This GO Box will become your active filing system that you will utilize daily to make you efficient, effective and productive. Here’s how to get started:

    • You can purchase Tickler Files on online such as David Allen’s on Amazon.
      OR a simple file sorter like this one from Staples
    • Purchase a desktop file box that appeals to you! These can be found in The Container Store, office supplies stores and online. You need a rectangular box that has rods in it to hold approximately 25 file folders.
    • Purchase good quality hanging file folders
    • Label a folder for each member of the family
    • Label three additional folders as follows:
      • Casual Reading
      • Follow Up
      • Waiting on Response
    • Label a folder for your ongoing projects/activities/needs. Examples:
      • Contact Lists
      • Schedules
      • Anything you do that’s recurring such as:
        • Meetings
        • Errands to run
        • Bills to pay
        • Receipts
        • Gift ideas
        • Vacation Plans
        • Investment Opportunities
        • Menus
        • To Buy/Grocery List

In order for you to stay organized and be “tickled” you MUST form the habit of:

  1. Putting all active papers into the appropriate dates (or files) as to when you want to take action on that paper. Do this as regularly as possible and link this information to your calendar/planner for added security.
  2. Check the 1-31 date files for the current “tomorrow” each night before the next numbered day or the current date each morning before you begin your day. Prioritize what’s inside so you know what order to work in.
  3. Check the Follow Up files as needed. I recommend once a week and put a note on your calendar to do so. Do the same with the Casual Reading and Waiting on Response files.
  4. At the end of the month prep your next month with everything you have stored in that month’s folder. For example, on the 31st of October all the papers in the dates 1-31 should be gone and you’re ready to reuse those dates for all your November papers that you were saving in the November tab since it was still October.