Design as an aid to filing and indexing
Whatever equipment is used the following points apply to the design of the forms or documents to be used.
- The size of the form or document must be related to the size of the binders, boxes, cabinets, sorting racks, or other equipment used; sufficient space should be left for easy handling of the form or document in its container and to give adequate protection to the edges and corners of the form.
- The name, number, or symbol etc. used for sorting or filing should be conveniently placed (usually at the edge of the form) to facilitate filing and reference within the file.
- The space allotted for the filing number, symbol etc. should be boxed in such a way that there will be no confusion with other data on the form, e.g. Form title or No. and so that it will not render the form less effective for its purpose.
- If the form is to be kept in some kind of binder, note that the binding margin will be on the right-hand edge on one side of the form, and on the left on the other side, which may interfere with the easy registration of the form in question with other forms, when both sides are prepared by carbon copying. (This difficulty can be avoided by having the margin at the top or bottom of the paper, with ‘tumbler’ printing and reversed margins, and binding the forms at the top or bottom instead of at the side.)
- If further entries will be made on the form after filing, consider how conveniently such entries can be made while the form is in the file. For instance bound ledger sheets may be difficult to use at the bottom edge because the writer’s hand tends to be suspended in mid air; it is awkward to make entries near the binding edge of forms in some binders, owing to the curved writing surface caused by the binding. This difficulty can sometimes be overcome by positioning entries made before filing nearest the binding margin, any entries made after filing then being placed well clear of the binding margin and on the flat writing surface of the filed forms.
Most loose-leaf binders (on posts or thongs etc.) require corresponding punched holes in the forms. The holes may be slotted to the edge of the form to allow the form to be inserted or withdrawn from the binding without first removing other forms.
Cords which can be split and rejoined with a socket fastener enable papers to be inserted in their proper sequence in a file cover, without removing other papers from the file.
Exact measurements for all punched holes must be specified, including the size and shape of the hole, the distance from the side and top edges of the paper to the centre of the hole, and the distance between the centres of the holes. The size of the holes should include a small clearance allowance of 1/32″ to 1/16″ more than the diameter of the binding post etc.
A spacing of 8cm. between the centre of holes is common to a large variety of binders. When an unusual arrangement of punched holes is required, H.M. Stationery Office should be consulted.
The following may simplify filing and indexing work:
- Signalling devices with and without the use of colour, for cards, pockets or pouches, and ledger sheets etc.
- Colours to indicate different groups or subjects, e.g. coloured strips for indexes, or different colours to indicate documents used in different accounting or other periods of the year etc.
- Marker cards or slips to indicate when a card or file has been extracted; when several persons use the same record, the use of colours, symbols, numbers or names, may add to the usefulness of the marker by providing a ready identification of the person who has extracted the particular record.
- Guide cards which protrude above the level of the filed documents to indicate main divisions or groups, e.g. when documents are filed in numerical sequence. It is an advantage to have guide cards of a contrasting colour to the index cards.
Standard punching gauges should be used as much as possible. H.M. Stationery Office should not be committed to proprietary brands of filing equipment or punching without consultation. The shape, size, spacing and distance from the binding edge to the centres of the holes must be specified as shown in the examples above; if the holes are not punched centrally on the binding edge, the distance from the top or bottom edges to the centres of the holes must also be specified
Page 85, lines 2 and 4
For ‘⅛″ from binding edge’ read ‘⅜″ from binding edge’
LONDON: HER MAJESTY’S STATIONERY OFFICE: 1962