The housekeeper should learn to use the labor-saving devices for her records that are now employed so largely in the world of business. This equipment should include a desk with fittings for systematized and rapid work. A roll-top desk, with pigeonholes and drawers is convenient, but a flat-topped desk with drawers below gives a larger space for writing, although it has to be supplemented by boxes to take the place of pigeonholes. Such desks may be purchased for twenty dollars and upward, in woods to match other furniture. It is a pleasure to have artistic desk furnishings, but a large amount may be spent on these, and the desk still be unequipped for practical purposes.
A card file is as advantageous to the housekeeper as to the business man. Some desks contain a place for the card file in the upper right-hand drawer.
Guide cards are furnished in several colors to indicate divisions of the file, and these are plain, or with printed numbers and letters. The record cards also are made of several colors, to indicate different uses. The suggestions here cover only a few of the possibilities. Visit some office furnishing department or shop to see what an array of conveniences has been devised for the dispatch of business. If you once form the habit, you will find new uses for the card file almost daily, and will keep on the cards, addresses, engagements, cash accounts, shopping lists, inventories of clothing and furnishings, menus and recipes. A loose-leaf book is preferred by some people for inventories and accounts.
A letter file shaped like a pocketbook can be purchased for only twenty-five cents, and will serve the purpose for a small correspondence. Large files with guide cards are made for a larger correspondence.
The small file will answer for filing bills and is useful also for clippings. Some desks have bill files in the pigeonholes, and a letter file in one of the large drawers.
Have regular hours daily for attending to work at the desk, stated times for planning menus, making shopping lists, looking over the inventories, recording expenditures, and balancing accounts.