File System Review: File Solutions & Freedom Filer

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L.C.H says:

I really appreciate when vloggers give us a glimpse at products that would cost the ordinary person time and money, with no guarantee that the product is really what we want after all.
So I appreciate that you made an effort, and I get it that you are telling us what things “you like” about these two products. But I hope you will re-do this video sometime in the future, because…

You really misrepresented Freedom Filer in this video. Most glaring error: this isn’t a system intended for manila folders (though it can be used that way). It is designed primarily for hanging folders because it is easier to file things when you can simply pull on a tab to open a file to get/replace an item.

Note 2 – both systems have an index, not just file solutions.

Note 3 – you mentioned that FS comes with info on when to purge (which may or may not be currently accurate legal advice), but not how FF is designed around the concept of ongoing purges of all color categories, and that you decide how often that is (based on currently accurate legal advice) . Yes, you mentioned the monthly self-purging feature, but you didn’t mention that FF comes with tabs that let you purge on a variety of schedules: monthly, every other month, every six months, annually…. ‘

It just felt like Freedom Filer didn’t get any sort of review at all, and that you weren’t accurate with what you DID say.

The entire Freedom Filer system is set up for purging: grey for active folders are emptied when the actions are completed, red for permanent (keep or life of person or thing), orange (remove and replace with ongoing updated paperwork), green (financial) and light blue (tax-related) are usually on a monthly purge, but can be put onto different intervals; dark blue archive can be set up on a ten-year rotation for purging, or personalized to other intervals. (Example: purge supporting tax materials after 10 years, keep the actual return forever in a dedicated archive file, perhaps by decade). Purple files for reference, special interest: these can be partitioned via different methods so you can tell when you last accessed a folder, and whether it should be considered for the chopping block. Extra stickers with letters and numerals on them make this a tidy, uniform labeling process.

I looked at the FIle Solutions page, and I didn’t see any option to print your own personalized labels, either. Do they have that option? Freedom Filer does: the labels I printed with family members names, with “Insurance, Prof. Liability” and other items specific to our family look like they came with the set, just by using their template.
If you don’t like the use of the word used in FF, you can create a new label with the word you like to use.

VIEWERS: if interested in Freedom Filer, check out Alejandra or Do It On A Dime or the website. I’ve created a FF-type system and used the pre-made one, and found the pre-made one to be the most time-effective even when i consider the price. It also looks sharp and organized the drawer.
For an abbreviated (2:32 long) video, look here:

The only thing I would change with the FF system: slightly bolder font, and elevated to the top of the tab for the best visibility. If you need bold print on your tabs, consider making your own system. If you have glasses with progressive lenses, you may know what I mean.
My only wish list for the FF system: getting to pick the colors I want to use. (I made a limited, but FF-inspired set in “beachy colors” of shell pink, soft peach, sky blue, sage green, lavender, and silvery grey for my daughter).
Best looking drawer: use all white or all grey folders to make the labels pop
Economical Tip: if wanting to use more interior folders with very personalized labels, consider using third-cut Avery labels in colors that coordinate with your category
More Time than Money Tip – you can find the freedom filer guide online as of this posting, so you can create your own self-purging system. But it will take a LOOOOOONG time, most likely. It took a really, really long time to create my daughter’s “beachy” system. So I bought the real thing and was really happy at how quickly I was able to put together a good-looking, organized file system that will look crisp, clean and organized forever because I can print perfect new labels for anything I can dream up.
Organization Tip: some people get freaked out that their Auto Purchase/ownership records are in the red area, the auto insurance policy is in the orange area, and the bills you pay on the auto are in the green area (or the blue area if you deduct it for taxes), and maybe your auto brochure that you kept for sentimental reasons is in a purple folder: no worry, the FF file guide explains that you can mix the colors if you want to, in order to keep certain items together. The color system ensures that you won’t accidentally purge your ownership papers, history of repairs, or your current auto policy at the same time as ditching the statements to pay for the vehicle or its insurance coverage. SO SMART! The fact that you keep them separate from the start will give you more confidence that purging will be fast and easy, instead of a tedious picking-over of overstuffed files or binders.

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