Thanks to the digital age, it’s now easier than ever to store thousands of documents in one tiny area and have access to any one of those documents in just a few moments. Company servers and file sharing has made it easier than ever to make sure everyone around the office has access to the necessary information to get their jobs done quickly and effectively.
But when your servers and files aren’t organized, this convenience suddenly goes right out the window. Instead of sorting through thousands of papers by hand, you’re clicking through thousands of document files frantically searching for the one you need, wasting hours of work time on a frivolous and preventable activity. So to make sure this never happens at your office again, here are three tips for creating more organized servers and company files.
Be Descriptive In File Naming
While you might save a fraction of a second by naming the file you’re working on something short and to the point, Ronald Pacchiano, a contributor to SmallBusinessComputing.com, shares that writing more descriptive file names will make identifying and locating files much easier in the future. Especially if you’re using a search function to find a file you’re looking for, having a descriptive file name will make your chances of locating that document much higher. Just be sure you do your best to keep file names relatively short to avoid having the path for that file be unreasonably long.
Institute An Effective Sub-Folder System
Although it is easier at the moment to just drop a file into a large folder that houses many different types of documents, strategically placing files into useful yet manageable sub-folders will make your system much more effective. Karl Palachuk of SmallBizThoughts.com recommends starting your file systems with departments and then having each department make high-level folders that break up their work into logical filing structures. By having each department create their own system, it will make it easier for them to follow the folder structure and find any information they need.
Use Shortcuts When Necessary
Many positions require the frequent use of certain documents. If this document is housed within multiple sub-folders, one way to make gaining access easier is to create a shortcut to that specific document. Kurt Meemken of Marconet.com shares that, in most cases, creating shortcuts doesn’t duplicate documents and also doesn’t delete documents if the shortcut gets deleted. However, it’s always a good idea to have your file system backed up on the cloud or another redundant system.
By having a better organized file system throughout your company, each individual will become more effective and the amount of time spent locating documents will drastically decrease. Use the tips mentioned above to implement this change in your own office.