What Is the Alphanumeric Filing System?

Woman's hands flipping through a filing cabinet.
Woman's hands flipping through a filing cabinet. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

File organization improves workflow for a business or personal office. Numerous filing systems exist to meet different needs and preferences. Standard filing formats all fall into one of three broad categories: subject, numeric and alphanumeric. Office workers use the alphanumeric method when files must contain both words and numbers.

How to Organize Files

Alphanumeric files will have a label containing words and numbers. This combination could include a name and a phone number or client number. Companies or individuals with few file folders can organize using names. Large numbers of files will require numerical ordering as workers tend to find the file using a code number.

Using Alphanumeric Filing

Ensure that each code number only applies to one file. Organize the files in numerical order. Use rubber bands or dividers to bundle files into stacks of tens or hundreds depending on the total number of files to make a specific number easier to find.

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