Some methods of filing have limited utility and are useful to small size office. Even in the large size office, the volume of papers is comparatively smaller for filing. Hence, different methods of filing are used and being replaced by modern methods on need basis. Modern methods are more efficient than old methods.
Old methods of filing in office
The important old methods of filing are explained below.
1. Metal Holders: The papers and documents are arranged with the help of metal holders in chronological order. This method is inconvenient for maintenance and outdated. Hence this method is not much use in practice.
2. Bound Books (Guard Books): The leaves of bound books are of stout. Whenever papers are to be filed, they are pasted on leaves of books in a chronological order. Small papers of varying sizes are filled in the bound book. For example, press cuttings. It has limited use.
3. Expanding Alphabetical Cases: The letters and papers are placed alphabetically with or without number in a pocket form. These pockets are useful for sorting out correspondence or keeping letters. Generally, share certificates, savings certificates and important documents maintained for temporary purposes.
4. Spike or Pillar File: A spike is a wire flitted with wooden stand. It may be kept on a table or hung on the wall. The papers are to be filed through the sharp point of the spike. Papers are filed one by one on the upper side; this is very simple and cheap method. The replacement and reference of any paper or document is very difficult and time consuming. There is no safety to documents from dust and insects. This method is very suitable for small office.
5. Concertina File: The file is made up of cardboard and has a number of light card board pockets. The documents are filed under simple alphabetical classification. This file is mainly used for keeping letters and documents temporary and the storage place for insurance policies and sham certificates. It has limited capacity for filing.
6. Box Files: Card board boxes are used for filing. Spring clips are used to hold. the papers and documents within the boxes. The duration of the box file is very short since the catches may become inefficient and loose after prolonged use. Hence, there is no safety to documents.
7. Pigeonhole File or Docketing: A cupboard or special almirah is to be used for filing letters and documents. The cup board is divided in to many compartments. Each compartment has one hole i.e. pigeon holes. Each pigeon has hole which leaves letters in an alphabet. Whenever the letters are received, they are sorted out according to alphabets and maintain the letters in the respective holes. Sometimes, the brief explanation and particulars of letters are recorded on the folders of the letters for quick reference. This is known as docketing. Mainly this method is followed in post office for sorting of letters.
The letters kept under this method can be cleared periodically which are not expected to use or unnecessary in future. This method is simple and economical. But it is very difficult to locate old records. There is no safety of maintaining letters under this method. There is a great risk of damage to records. This method is not suitable for large size office and suitable for small office only.
8. Press Copy Book: The office copies of outward letters are maintained in a book form. An extra carbon copy of each letter is taken for this purpose and then the original copies are filed in chronological order. This helps to preserve documents which may become evidence. It is very difficult to locate the documents for cross reference since it is a cumbersome and time consuming method.