This means filing data
Filing means storing information in a particular way
Filing can be either:
Manual when paper documents need to be kept in cabinets
Electronic when records are kept in a database on computer
A database is the name of the software application which
stores records
An example of database software is Microsoft Access
Data needs to be kept so that it can be accessed again at any time.
The Essential Features
No matter the method of filing, it must be:
• simple and easy to use
• capable of expansion ie ‘future-proof’
• accessible by all who need to use it
• economical in terms of cost and space
• secure from unauthorised access
• capable of keeping files safe from damage
For Manual Filing
Lateral filing cabinets
Horizontal filing cabinets
Clips and staples
Box files
Card Index
Vertical filing cabinets
Rotary file
eg pocket and lever arch
For Electronic Filing
CDRom and
Floppy Disc
Database Software
eg MS Access
Hard Disc
The order into which records are sorted
Alphabetical - records sorted alphabetically by surname or firm’s name
• the name is the filing point
• simple and easy to use but not easy to expand long term
because some letters of the alphabet are more common than others
Numerical - records sorted by account number or reference number
• the account/reference number is the filing point
• capable of endless expansion since a new customer is given next number
but a manual system needs an alphabetical index to find customer’s file
Chronological - records are organised in date order
• the date is the filing point
• all manual methods use this since the newest documents are placed at
the front of the folder
more methods on the next slide ….
Geographical - records are sorted according to place eg the town in
the customer’s address
• the town or city is the filing point
• the towns are arranged alphabetically
• could be used by sales representatives who cover different areas
Subject - records are sorted according to a category or topic eg like
books in a library with a crime section, travel section etc
• the item is the filing point
• arranged alphabetically by item
• could be used by department stores or supermarkets where the names
of the products stocked is the filing point
These 5 methods of filing are also known as methods of indexing
File regularly or …..
…… it becomes a chore
1 Collect documents from ‘out’ trays or ‘filing’ trays
Only file documents which have a release mark such as
Decide the filing point ie the surname if alphabetical
account number if numerical
date if chronological
Pre-sort documents on desk
5 Working in one drawer at a time, remove the first file
Place the document at the front of the file
7 Replace file in the proper place in the drawer
8 Repeat the process till all documents are filed
Now answer the following questions in sentences on paper.
1 Why is it necessary to file?
2 List 3 features of a good filing system, manual or electronic.
3 What do you understand by the term ‘filing point’.
4 Which indexing method uses surnames as the filing point
5 Give a major drawback of using this method of indexing?
6 What is the major advantage of using numerical filing?
7 What is meant by chronological order?
8 How do all methods of filing use chronological order?
9 When would geographical filing be appropriate.
10 How would you know a document was ready for filing?
Now check your answers with the solution and note your score.
Solve the following problem on paper.
You have been asked to pre-sort documents from clients.
Arrange them into alphabetical order prior to filing them away.
John Smith and Sons
Mr James Patterson
Paterson Fabricators
Mr J Smith
The Albany Hotel
Mrs T Andrews
Mr Peter Albarn
Saint Andrews Hospice
Thomas Andrews Plc
Santos Mining Corporation
The Fabric Shack
Alba Antiques
Now check your answer with the solution and note your score.
When firms begin to run out of storage space, microfilming is an option
Documents are photographed and reduced to the size of postage stamps
The filmed documents are stored on rolls, cards or sheets
Strips of film are stored in transparent wallets called jackets
A sheet of film with hundreds of reduced A4 documents is called fiche
Equipment required for microfilming:
camera reader/viewer for enlarging a document back to reading size
processor to develop the film printer to get a hard copy when required
Libraries microfilm back copies of newspapers
Microfilmed documents last longer than their paper originals
Another option when storage space becomes critical …. Electronic filing
Answer - Storing information in a computer database
Question - What exactly is a database?
Answer -
Any collection of data
Question - What does a database look like?
Answer -
A manual database could be a telephone book or card index
A computer database is an application that stores records on computer file
Question - How is a computer database structured?
Answer - In a grid with columns, called fields and rows called records
Question - What does a computer database have over the manual version?
continued over …….
Records are more easily added, deleted and edited when
details change than they would be in a manual database
Storage space is greatly reduced compared to manual filing cabinets
This makes storage much cheaper once the computer has been purchased
Records are searched much quicker than manual, so its easier to find
a particular item
Records can be reorganised into a different order in seconds
Records do not get damaged like paper files can
Records can be made secure by use of password access
Files can be shared and worked on by several people simultaneously
Open up the appropriate database
Key in the data under the appropriate field names in the next row
Sort the database into the order normally kept eg alphabetical
Save the database
Now answer the following questions in sentences on paper.
1 How can large numbers of documents be stored in a small space?
2 What is microfiche?
3 What is a microfilm reader used for?
4 Name a software application which stores records ?
5 What is the name of the database software you use?
6 Name 3 advantages electronic filing has over manual filing.
7 How can a record be found quickly from a large database?
8 How can databases be made secure?
9 Name the legislation covering data held on computer?
10 How would you change someone’s address in a database?
Now check your answers with the solution and note your score.
This task may be done on computer or on paper.
At the moment the sports centre where you work as an
Administrator keeps its members’ records on index cards.
You have been asked for your views on the whether these
records should be transferred on to the centre’s computer.
Prepare a memo to the centre’s manager on the advantages
and disadvantages of this proposal and come to a conclusion
based on the points you have made.
Now compare your results with the solution and note your score.
This task may be done on computer or on paper.
You work as an administrative assistant for a large organisation
which currently stores all its records manually in filing cabinets.
It is shortly moving to smaller premises and has no space
for all its records.
Prepare a report to the General Manager outlining 2 possible
Your report should detail all the implications of both methods.
Now check your answer with the solution and note your score.