With a whopping 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being generated daily and many more bits of physical data flowing into our world by the second, it’s no wonder why people have a hard time accessing the information they need. Rather than throwing your hands up and disposing yourself to spending hours futzing through filing cabinets and directories, our advice is to take in impactful file management tips and to start getting things organized.
Therein lies the purpose of this post.
Below, our team breaks down physical and digital file conventions. These conventions can save you time, money, and help you feel less stressed when sorting through your company’s important data.
Consistent Naming Conventions
Whether you’re throwing files into a physical cabinet or organizing them in a shared drive, naming conventions are important. They enable people to easily find what they’re looking for by typing search terms into a file explorer. In a physical sense, naming conventions allow people to quickly thumb to areas in cabinets where the data they’re seeking probably is.
Which file naming conventions you choose to implement are up to you. Just make them simple and searchable.
If you’re dealing with a lot of physical files, it’s time that you migrate that workflow to the digital space. At the very least, you’ll want your important documents to straddle both worlds.
To that end, implement a workflow where important documents can be scanned up to a cloud service you’re using. That way, you can destroy the physical original. Or at the very least, know that your file will always be safe, even if the original accidentally gets destroyed.
Backing up and converting physical files to PDFs or trying to generate PDF .NET workflows can be made worlds easier by onboarding third-party software. Talk to your IT team about which tools are out there.
Directories That Make Sense
File naming is important. What’s equally important though is sorting files in folders that make sense.
In a digital sense, one of the best file management tips we can give you is to create folder structures that are as specific as possible, enabling users to click their way down to any potential files they need without confusion.
The same is true for physical data management. The folders you have in a filing cabinet should be alphabetized, organized by concepts, and easy to drill through.
No Desk Pile-Up Policy
When you’re working with physical files, the only way that you can implement effective file management is by committing your paperwork to the process. One of the biggest inhibitors to committing is what we call “desk pile-ups”.
Desk pile-ups are when people on your team use their desks as a means of storing new files or old ones they’ve pulled out of storage but haven’t found the time to put back. By instituting policies that frown upon piles of papers on desks, you can get more files in folders faster.
File Management Tips Extend Beyond the Scope of This Post
We’ve hit you with four file management tips that should improve your organization. Believe us when we say though that file management extends beyond just four things!
Therefore, we challenge you to implement what we’ve shared while also extending your education beyond this post! Speaking of which, if you’re hungry for more insight on electronic file organization, storing documents and more, consider exploring related content that we have available here on our blog.