Today I have been getting organised, and have filled three waste bins to overflowing in the process. I have implemented something with the stupid name of a tickler file, but already it is looking good. Essentially you take 43 folders (I used 42, which I will explain).
As today is the 6th Sept, the folders are placed as follows: 7-31, Oct, 1-6, Nov, Dec, Jan-Sept,
Or to put it another way, Tomorrow to end of month, Next month, remaining numbers, remaining months.
Tomorrow, I pull out the first file, and deal with what is in it, when done, it goes to the back of the numbers. When this month is up the next month's folder appears - a little care is needed to put this at the very back when it is dealt with, and to put the next number behind the folder for next month.
If I get something that I don't need now, but now I want to see in the future, this is where the file is useful.
For example, there is a piece of paper I need on the 12th, not before. So it goes into '12', and I forget about it.
If I might need the paper before the 12th, I file it as normal and put a note into '12' to remind me to get the paper from X.
If I don't need the paper until October 12th, it goes into 'October', and on Oct 1st I will see it again, and I then shove it into '12'.
Of course, if today was sept 13th, the '12' folder would already be free!
Each time I get an item, I either deal, trash or defer it, decide to do it later. If the latter it goes back into the tickler, or onto a list. The tickler will be used for self reminders, a sort of mailbox in time that not only delivers the message, but the actual physical documents I need, be they train tickets or memos.
I only need 42 folders, as I won't use '1'. The month folder doubles as '1'!