Your Guide to an Efficient Filing System

Your Guide to Filing

An efficient filing system has become critical, but still, more often than not, filing systems are accepted without consideration to WHAT is being stored, WHY it's being stored, WHERE and HOW it's being stored. You need to ensure resources are not wasted by replacing your filing system just for replacement sake; It may well be that your current filing system will meet your required criteria by adopting different soft folder and indexing formats.

Many filing organizations will recommend replacing your current system with space efficient filtering systems without consideration to the filing process.

Filing Facts

The freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act has made a huge impact on the way records are stored.

Certain types of records have to be stored by law for certain periods of time.

The amount of paper and records stored by organizations is increasing every year.

Misplaced or lost records cost many organizations a substantial amount of money through lost time looking for them. Some types of records will also incur an organization a heavy fine if the record can not be produced on demand.

Clear indexing and identifiable records will speed up the retrieval process for when the file is needed – not when it is too late.

An ineffective filing system will take up more floor space costing the organization more money through floor space rates.

An efficient filing system will save time, space and money making your organization run much more effectively, leading to greater success.

Filing Audit

If you want to improve your filing efficiency you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your current filing system. The questions below are a good list of questions that once answered will outline specific areas that need attention.

The Records

O How are your records stored? (Lever Arch, Foolscap file)
O What is the volume of records in linear meters
O Are there any duplicates or copies? If so what for?

Indexing

O How effective is your indexing?
O What do you like or dislike about your indexing?
O Is misfiling a common occurrence?

File Storage

O How effective is the storage system?
O What do you like or dislike about it?
O What are the present floor space costs?

Record Access

O How frequently are records retrieved from the system?
O How many people use the filing system?
O Do the records need to be secure?
O Are records returned accurately and on time?

Record Tracking

O Are the records needed for filing Audits?
O How do you keep track of your records?
O Does your tracking system work?

Evaluating your system

The answers to the above should enable you to evaluate:

O Records which are not needed could have been archived or destroyed
O Records needing consolidation
O Any indexing improvements
O Effectiveness of the system

Creating an efficient filing system

O Avoid complicated indexing methods
O Avoid handwritten indexes
O Before opening a new record make sure its unique.
O When indexing a record think of the first identifying reference that comes to mind
O Be specific with titles, never use general or miscellaneous.
O Allocate a unique reference ID.
O All correspondence in the file should be dated or marked for reference
O Separate archive from live records

Further details on file creation refer to RMS 1.1 Standard written by the National Archives.

Tracking Records

What happens to your records when they are away from the system?

Case studies show that traditional tracking methods have become inefficient and unreliable An electronic system using a barcode or RFID tags will improve file tracking.

Locating and Controlling Records must be efficient. Record users should be able to file and retrieve records quickly and efficiently.

Tracking records in a filing system should:

O Assist with accurate retrieval of records
O Ensure access of records to staff authorized to do so
O Assist with record retention periods
O Record a complete history of a record's movement

If a record is removed from the system, the following information should be documented:

O The record's index details
O Who retrieved the record
O The date the record was retrieved
O A proposed return date and the actual return date

Conventional Filing Methods Vs End Tab Color Coded Filing Methods

It has been established by the industry that traditional suspended pocket filing is the most inefficient way of storing documentation. The suspended file pocket, by design, is estimated to waste between 15-20% of valuable storage space within the system. Furthermore, suspended file sockets have a tendency to split and as a result cause misfiling / lost files.

File Indexes in a hand-written or text-printed format can be difficult to read enhancing the opportunity for slow retrieval and misfiling.

Using standard folders, filing / retrieval times are slow and misfiling is a common occurrence purely because another folder hides a records index.

Portrait Lever Arch Files are designed with a fixed center of between 73-78mm, invariably the folder houses less capacity than the file offers wasting valuable shelf storage space, in addition because of its design, fewer storage levels can be achieved in a standard storage system .

By simply employing a color coded index system these inherent problems can be overcome.

Disposal

Disposing of records is an important part of maintaining control of your records. Before a disposal schedule is put into place you must understand all of your legal and regulatory business requirements.

Legal and regulatory requirements including the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Public Records Act 1958 all effect the disposal of records. All have imposed new and more stringent duties on public sector bodies with regards to records disposal.

So what does this mean?

Disposal does not mean destruction. It means any action taken to determine the fate of the record including transfer to an archive system. When it is not possible at any time to determine the disposal of the records they may be scheduled for review at a later date.

Retention usually means the length of time records are kept, sometimes known as disposal schedules. If a disposal schedule is not put into place, the tension is to store records indefinitely taking up unnecessary space.

Confidential information must be stored securely and disposed of by way of shredding.

For further details on disposing scheduling please refer to Disposal Scheduling (RMS 5.1) Standard written by the National Archives.

What is a PABX and How Does it Work?

The acronym PABX stands for Private Automatic Branch Exchange, which is basically just another term for a telephone system, also known as a switchboard. These units are usually used as an internal telephone system in offices.

PABX systems will often have a lot of internal lines connecting to one main switchboard. The reason that the word branch is referred to in the term, is because there are many different mediums connected to a PABX system, connecting all aspects of the system within the business together. PABX systems are incredibly complex machines in that they can be used as telephones, modems and fax machines, and can be used for employees to communicate internally.

How a PABX essentially works is that it is a modem which acts as the central control station. Whenever a new call comes in, it is routed through this control station. Since the PABX has been assigned to special codes per each phone number within in the company, or each extension if you will, the call is going to be directed to the correct place using that assigned code. A PABX can also be programmed so that it greets each caller with an automated message before the call goes through to the assigned line. With regards to the fax function, you can program a line that goes through from the central control station to the fax machine. The machine can also be programmed to go to numerous fax machines.

PABX machines are now being modernised in that they can now be controlled by a computer system which tracks all incoming and outgoing calls. This computer system can be personalised in that it limits who makes calls to certain networks. It is also a very good way of keeping track of employees’ private telephone usage at work.

PABX machines are excellent for businesses because they can be used as auto attendants. By doing this the call will be handled to a certain extent even if there is no-one to answer the call. In this respect, PABX systems are highly effective for large businesses that receive a lot of calls. PABXs are lovely office machines as they have a wide range of different functions besides the ones mentioned above. PABX systems can be used to conduct conference calls, which is incredibly useful if business people do not have time to meet for a face to face meeting. This is very helpful for international clients that can only be met with telephonically.

In conclusion it can easily be seen that a PABX can be of great use to a business. There are many telecommunications companies that sell PABX systems and offer special deals. Some of these deals include actually renting the unit for your company and paying a monthly fee to use it. PABX systems can be quite expensive, and therefore there are packages available which will allow the company to pay a monthly fee to pay off their PABX system. With regards to what it is offering your company in respect to communications and professionalism, the cost can be justified!

How To Turn Your Useless Home PC Into IP Phone PBX?

When we are talking about setting up the IP phone PBX system in our home, the first thing that comes to our mind is where or how to begin. Here, we will discuss at an easy way to turn your home PC into a fully fledged IP phone PBX. Let us first understand what this technology really is.

Installation using the old method:

The old method of installing the asterisk was one of the most awful ways to install the IP phone. Using CLI (command line interface) based interface to do anything is no more a choice, and when we are talking about Linux, that becomes even more painful. This is the single biggest reason why people now think of installing asterisk in their homes nothing short of a nightmare. When this CLI based Linux installation was carried out, it took many dark twists and turns, at the end of the day. There were fundamentally, two teasing things. For a layman, the first one was remembering all those commands and executing them at the right time. Secondly, for installing Linux separately, you also needed to install asterisk, which was nothing short of climbing the Mount Everest.

GUI Based Asterisk:

Now, users do not have to wrestle with the text based command prompt. New packages have included everything in just one CD and you just don’t need to install different software packages in bits and pieces.

There is a GUI based Linux software which solves half the worries related to remembering all the Linux CLI commands. Now ordinary people like you and me can see as well as relate to what is happening on the screen. Secondly, asterisk’s new GUI based version further makes things easy for the users.

They can make all the changes in asterisk through graphic user interface instead of using the command line interface. There are many GUI based asterisk available and most of them are open source like AsteriskNow, Flash in a PBX, and many others.

All these changes have not only made the installation process a lot easier but also reduced the unnecessary headaches which ordinary people had to go through earlier.

We talked about a useless PC on which asterisk work. Anyhow, we will still have a look at the minimum requirements for the computer that can be used for this purpose.

– You need a PC that is x86 with Linux GUI based operating system installed on it.
– The PC should be a minimum Pentium III with 500 MHz of processor.
– There must be one PCI slot available.
– You must have Digium TDM-400P that supports 2 X FXO daughter cards and 2 X FXS daughter cards.
– Your PC must have a sound card installed and working in perfect condition.

Assuming that you already have Linux operating system installed on your PC, we will proceed with the Trixbox installation as this is one of the most common GUI based asterisk in use.

Installing asterisk on your PC using Trixbox

Once you reach the console, login using these details.

Username: root
Password: The one you provided at the time of installation

Once you have successfully been able to log into your system, your system will mention you the DHCP server received IP address. Now you need to give your system a permanent address which you can do by two ways, either through the GUI or by system-config-network.

Upon configuring the IP address you need to restart the service network.

You will need to use your web browser to continue doing the configuration task through the IP that you just assigned.

Now you will need to click on Switch next to User Mode for opening the Admin GUI. Login details provided below.

user: maint
pass: password

Select the Asterisk – PBXconfig from the GUI.

Go to tools – module admin. Here you can select from a list of modules given. Install the ones which you really think of benefit to you.

Now go to setup – extensions – generic sip device to add your first extension.

Now you can enter different phone extensions that you want to use. Many people prefer starting from 200.

What to do next?

Once you have successfully configured all the settings, now you need to have a phone to make and receive calls. But as in this case, you are using your PC. Make sure you have good quality VoIP headset pair with a mic. This will help you make and receive phone calls. Make sure you have enabled voicemail to get the extra benefits. Now you can virtually attach as many phone users as you want. Just make sure to correctly configure it in your GUI based asterisk and do not forget to assign an extension to each new phone user added. The extension would be unique which can only be assigned to one phone user.

Enjoy managing a big network of phones with secure OS like Linux run by asterisk. There does involve some hard work but at the end. You will not need to invest that much amount of money or effort.

To reduce the cost of the whole process and increase the joys, make sure that you have a reliable internet phone service like Vonage, Axvoice or Skype at the backend.

Essential Elements of Good Corporate Communication

Corporate communications is the means by which organizations build their brand value. In recent times, a number of organizations have realized that effective communication can not only avert crisis situations but also increase the brands power. With this dual objective in mind, a growing number of companies are laying a lot of emphasis on boosting their communication. These companies must keep a few pointers in mind while designing their corporate communication. Some of the key components of an effective communication are as follows:

  • Staying updated

We exist in a dynamic market environment where technologies are fast becoming obsolete. It is therefore extremely important to stay updated while preparing communication. It is also important to stay in focus. Therefore, companies should remain updated and share information about new launches and product developments with the media.

  • Search for new avenues of communication

A large number of companies are exploring new avenues of communication. It is felt that finding new means of corporate communication can provide first mover’s advantage to the company. In this regard, blogging has emerged as a wonderful medium to communicate in the marketplace.

  • Use the internet

Despite the fact that almost all companies in the world are using the Internet to establish and boost their presence in the market, this medium is still untapped. To begin with, smaller players in the market do not have proper websites. Some of the websites have no relevant information while some are not user friendly. Given that businesses depend on the Internet to a large extent it is important that companies optimize their online presence to attract new clients.

  • Share success and failure

Success and failure are a part of every organization. Sharing success and failure makes the corporate communication powerful. This is especially true for internal communication. As an employer, you should share your company’s success and failure with your employees. This breaks the hierarchical barriers that exist in organizations.

Advantages Of Plain Old Telephone Services (POTS) Lines Over The Modern Telephony

In most parts of the world, plain old telephone services POTS lines, commonly known as landlines, have remained the major form of connection to telephony networks for both businesses and residential users. This is a voice grade phone service dating back to the late 19th century. Though technology has brought a lot of changes, these have capabilities that modern telephony like ISDN, cell phones and VoIP do not.

This could be a major reason that despite introduction of advanced telephony service, most offices and residents still maintain their POTS network. These provide a full-duplex voiceband channel where human voice can travel both ways, concurrently. Other provisions are operator services like conference calling, subscriber dialing and call progress tones. These form the basics of any phone service.

In addition, those with landlines network today can order broadband service if they need their computer systems to run faster. In this case, POTS will act as a basis for the new service since one can now connect to the provider through the existing phone line. Once you add the broadband, your business uses the same cable network for both phone and internet.

It is also good to note that the plain old telephone services lines are very consistent compared to modern telephony. This ensures that your business is not getting irregular cut outs at any time of the day. This is a common problem with the newly introduced technologies like the cellular phones and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol.

Users should note that, both cellular phones and VoIP are greatly affected by weather changes. Other disruptions on these kinds of telephony communication include cell tower location problems, satellite positions and even power interruptions. On the other hand, POTs are highly stable as they will not even need power to operate especially if using it for calls only.

Another advantage of using landlines is that, in case of an emergency where people have to contact 911, the operator can easily tell where this is coming from. This way, the caller can receive immediate help. However, this is not the case with most types of VoIP or GSM phones. With VoIP, ability to instantly track a caller will depend on the service provider. Use of GPS tracking for cellular phones without the service is through cell tower triangulation which may take a lot of time. This means one is not going to receive timely assistance from 911.

There is no special instruction required to operate the POTS equipment. Most of its features are basic and familiar to most people who have made calls before. This means a business will not spend resources training employees on how to operate it. However, this is not so for modern communication systems. Some cell systems may require special training for people to operate.

The above are some of the benefits of using the plain old telephone services POTS lines. Since this can also integrate easily with new technologies, it is vital to keep it along the advanced communication systems. One does not have to completely do away with this kind of network. It can save your business a great deal of money and time especially during an emergency.

Role of Stock Market in Financial System

The stock market plays a crucial role in the financial system. It is considered as one of the best ways to increase their funds. But before you make any investment into the stock market, you should know how to get started. It may turn out to be a profitable affair as long as you know the tricks of the trade. To start with, you must have an account in your preferred brokerage.

You need to pay the corresponding transaction fee as they will be acting on your behalf. Primarily the stock market offer liquidity which empowers the financers to trade efficiently on their securities. This is considered as one of the best features of stock market investment. Also the exchange rates are vital in financial dealings as it eradicates the risk to personal purchaser or supplier.

Many pioneer economists believe that the role of stock market has opened new avenues in terms of financial as well as the economic growth of a country. Today with easy access to internet you can buy or sell instantly with online stock trading system. Although stock market can boost your financial stability but you should never overlook the risks attached to it.

Basically it's a matter of sharp market observation and speculation. The ever fluctuating stock market can leave you high and dry. You need to understand how to minimize the risks on your investments. Proper financial guide, market research, expert advice can help you to deal with the risks involved to a great extent.

The Invention of the Telephone

The telephone is a wonderful invention. Since it was first introduced into the marketplace it has made a world of difference in many people's lives. The fact that the telephone can be used in an emergency situation is probably the most beneficial of all. The telephone has saved many lives over the years, and without a telephone it would be impossible for anyone to call the police, fire department or ambulance.

Since it was first invented, the telephone has gone through many of changes. The first telephone lines were run on towers that made a city or suburb look very unattractive. These days all of the cables are run underground. The first telephone was a very large rotary type device. Nowadays you can find phones as small as the palm of your hand or even smaller – enter the cell phone.

It is Convenient

The first thing that people realized about the telephone is that it was a very easy means of communication. There was no longer the need to get on your horse with a letter and gallop down to the next street or state for that matter. You could simply pick up the receiver and dial a number to speak to the person on the other end. In the earlier days of the telephone, however, it was seen as a luxury. This meant that it was only installed in houses of people who could afford it, or who had extra money.

Today, the telephone is affordable to almost everyone, it is the lifeblood to our economy. Everyone knows that you can not run a successful business without a telephone. This device is no longer a luxury, it is a means to an end, it is a way to make you more money and keep our economy thriving. It has also allowed us to create a new form of business – formerly the Internet ie e-Commerce.

Telephone Equipment

The telephone has many different types of gadgets, features and accessories that go with it these days. If you are looking for even more convenience and uses for the telephone you will need to take a look at a few of these:

Caller Identity: Know who is calling with a new caller line identity device. It is a tool that you will hook up to your existing telephone or it is added by your telephone provider. The device is made up of a simple LCD digital screen that displays the number of the person calling you. This way, if you do not know the number, you do not need to answer.

Conference Speaker Phone: This is especially helpful in any business, whether it is small or large. If you find that you will be on calls where you need more than one person on the telephone, the speaker phone is for you.

Different Types of Telephones

You will find that there are many different types of telephones out on the market today. This includes both analog and digital models for the home line device, business phones, satellite phones and the cell phone. You will also find that the home line telephone comes in many wireless connections too, for security, ease, mobility, etc. Alexander Graham Bell never would have guessed that his invention would have gotten this famous.

Fixed Communication Systems

We are now in a world where technology goes hand in hand in everything we do, we cannot deny the fact that we are in an evolving society where we are in a stage of exploration to make our world a better and easier place to live in. Technology basically gives us a lot of advantages to really connect on what we are up to and one of the most important and most commonly used to us is “Communication”, whereas we basically exchange information from one another sometimes by the way of Fixed Communication Systems I think more surprisingly is that the evolution of this systems that allows us to communicate even in the hardest possibilities. With the help of fixed systems, we are able to have better communication through any means of communications there is.

One of the most common means of technology in our world is the telephone, and with it it’s pretty much a basic point to have access on a telephone wherever you may be. In every phone server there is a fixed communications in which basically becomes the root in order for a simple communication by the use of telephone or hand held phones to another. The fact that fixed communication systems play an important role to make the “conversation” happen, gives you a basic insight into how they work.

Allow us to explain in the simplest way that we can. Well, first off fixed communication systems are connected to a remote station, which acts as a server to cater the call, it is also wired or connected to a terminal in which performs the communication itself, so when a certain number or address is dialed in, it goes and basically connects to the station and on to the terminal, to make it happen. It is a basic structure that simply initiates the conversation and from there information is transferred.

Fixed Systems are now so broad that there are different types and uses on which it operates from, simple hand held phones that connect to computers and satellites. That is a diverse thing to really ponder into. Right now, the thought of having everything wireless is a common thing to almost everyone. The cell phones, the internet and almost everything is in the wireless society. Therefore, getting a fixed system is a totally new level as well, with the wireless internet technology called Wi-Fi most communication fixtures goes with a wireless response. Because right now everything is detailed using signals that performs the initial communication to really make the connection possible.

It is very much important for us to understand the wonders of how the fixed communication systems work because without a simple understanding in it, we wouldn’t be informed on how the communication system really works. In certain aspects fixed systems really give us the idea of how we communicate using today’s technology. The fact of the matter is, we shouldn’t be less informed in simple things such as fixed communication systems because having the understanding to it can give us relative information that would really be a good help us in an informative manner.

How to Locate a Cell Phone Owner Using the Unregistered Number

If you are looking for the best solution to your current problem on how to locate a cell phone owner using the unregistered number on your mobile phone then read on and find out your options.

Bear in mind that you are not alone in trying to trace the owner of any cellphone number because there are also numerous other people who are facing the same situation as you are encountering right now.

Many of them want to perform the reverse phone search because they are desperate in stopping those annoying prank calls. Some individuals wants to conduct this type of search because they are having some doubts on the mysterious phone activities of their relationship partner; while some businessmen and corporate employees are regularly conducting the reverse lookup of cell phone numbers because they want to sort business and personal calls for proper crediting of expenses.

Regardless of the purpose of your search, one of your options is to simply visit the service provider office where the unit is subscribed. Most of these wireless communication service companies generally have the database that contains all the personal data of their subscribers.

You can request for the desired information using the cellphone numbers that you have in your possession and they will usually give you the requested information as long as you are able to provide valid reasons.

If you opt for this method then prepare to set aside several hours or half of the day just to get the information that you want. This will also cost you some expenses on your transportation in personally going to the place where the offices are located.

The best solution to your problem on how to locate a cell phone owner is to go online and use one of the numerous reverse phone search service offered by several independent companies. This is much better option for you because you can instantly get the results within minutes; and it is very convenient on your part since you can get your desired data without going somewhere. This option may require you to spend around $10 to $40 but such amount is very minimal compared to the numerous benefits that you will also get.

The most highly recommended option to solve your problem on how to locate a cell phone owner is to get the annual subscription where you can perform as many searches as you want within the paid period; this is more economical considering that you may need to perform the same procedure again in the future on several instances.