When moving premises last year we decided to have a good clear out of old files – paper based – yes we still have some filing cabinets! However, as is often the case, we should have started the process much sooner as we found too many files held some interest to make quick decisions on their fate. The result: we picked the low hanging fruit and managed to half the number of cabinets from six to three.
Now the aim is to get down to just one cabinet, keeping only essential files. This should not be too difficult a process. However, the occasional bit of history pops up that proves a distraction. This includes work for clients that were involved in projects on the Millennium Dome, Manchester Arena, Wimbledon, Renault F1 and more. Innovations in fuel management, aerospace, industrial handling and other ground breaking technology of the day. And there are also shared experiences with colleagues and customers who are sadly no longer with us.
This comes with the baggage of being around since 1985. Of course, accumulating files today takes up just disk or cloud space – which seems endlessly plentiful but still warrants good housekeeping. Why am I telling you this? Well, there is forgotten value in what has been hidden away out of sight and out of mind. Ideas, we thought about, documented, sometimes tried and then left to hang for lack of time or maybe budget. Perhaps we did not consider them good ideas or there were other barriers preventing their development. It doesn’t really matter, what is important is those ideas are worth another look – with today’s eyes.
Clear outs can be cathartic, but don’t be too hasty. If you are embarking on thinning out old files, keep in mind there could be gems of history and ideas locked away in them that could feed your PR, web site pages, blogs and social media posts.
I will leave you a brochure cover produced pre Apple Mac/Adobe, pre widespread adoption of the web, pre the affordability of full colour printing for a small firm like ourselves. However, its simplicity was highly successful for us at the time. And has the sentimental value that the designer who produced this for us is now the managing director of the highly successful fuel management company, Fueltek www.fueltek.co.uk/. Thank you Martin for the part you have played in our success.
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