Alphabetical Filing

You can learn practically anything for free on the internet.

I received an email today asking about resources for learning and practicing alphabetical filing skills -- knowing which files go in which order so that you can store them and find them again easily. It was a great question that I think a lot of people can benefit from asking. Alphabetical filing is one of those skills that most people think they've mastered, or they are afraid to ask for help because they assume everyone else already knows how, but in reality, fewer people than you realize really know how to file. Fortunately, there are set rules you can learn that will tell you what to do in any given situation. With a little practice, you'll master all the finer points of alphabetical filing.

None of the resources I'm about to link you to are my own, and I cannot take credit for them. They're just the best pages I've found covering this topic on the internet.

This short page from the University of Idaho goes over the absolute basics of alphabetical filing. Basically, A comes before B, and if the first letters are the same, you look to the next letter until there is a difference. "Ab" comes before "Ac," "Ba" comes before "Be," "Cindy's Bakery" comes before "Cindy's Flowers," and so on. Once you understand this part, you've already mastered about 95% of filing.

This alphabetizing game from is a great place to practice the basics. I don't care if it is a children's game -- it's useful, and if you make a mistake, it walks you through how to correct it so that you can learn as you go.

This printable page from Dartmouth University goes into more detail on exactly how to file certain names and types of abbreviations you might encounter while filing for a business. It's actually more detail than a lot of people who do filing for a living know.

Master these rules and you'll know all there is to know about filing.

Finally, this link from Totten College goes to another online filing game where you can practice what you've learned.

I hope you find these resources helpful. If you took a filing test while registering at GoodTemps and didn't have the best score, I encourage you to look over these two pages, play these two games, and retest. You'd be surprised how much you can learn in a day.

Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on You can also follow @CarissaDoshi on Twitter.

More from Career development

2nd Life

This inspirational film is now up for an Oscar.…

Jamael's Story, empowered by Goodwill!

Watch Jamael's story and see how #Goodwill #empowered him and got him #CareerReady…

"How about that cityname sports team?"

For non-conversationalists and wall-flowers among us, going to social events where networking with new people is important.…

Join the discussion

GoodTemps article comments powered by Disqus