As the bulk of digital files increases in your office it becomes harder and harder to pinpoint individual males, documents, or files. Many times, you require something urgently and then spend hours searching for it increasing your stress, worries, and heart rate. Does this have to be this way? Is there a method to organize your electronic files to keep them at your fingertips? After all, your clients are not going to wait indefinitely as you try to find that status report! People everywhere are wasting unnecessary time searching for data. Even if you are extremely effective and organized in your day-to-day office work it won't matter if you cannot give your client or your boss the information they require exactly when needed.
Don’t Let Poor Management Ruin All
In any regular world the data comes pouring in from every direction possible almost bombarding into your system. Does it often happen that you waste yours as well as the time of others hunting for files available in your tablet, smartphone, or computer? This is not only causes much stress to you but also makes you appear quite unprofessional. This is especially for people who use share drives or servers. If you are not organized regarding your electronic files you're going to face lots of issues. It is important to store your files in a sensible manner and label them appropriately for easy identification when required.
Embrace Directory Hierarchical Structures
Effectively and efficiently, manage your digital files with directory hierarchical structures. This way you will be able to store all your files and documents for particular projects in one folder. People tend to complicate matters by maintaining many folders say one for the spreadsheets and another for presentations and so on. This way, you will be able to quickly use, open, and find files related to a particular project. Within the main folder, there can be any number of sub folders known as topic folders. Within this keep your function specific functions for effective sorting of information as and when needed. Finally, there is the activity folder for definite timeframe or activity within every function folder. You can base the organization of these folders can be based upon urgency, date, topic or other system of your choice.
Depending upon the nature of the work and your role in it, one may require fewer or more folder levels.
A Few More Solutions
Besides using hierarchical structures for directory, one can use other methods as well for effective management of electronic files.
A. Use consistent file/folder nomenclature method
Divide your main folder to various subfolders that relate to your co-workers, customers, or vendor is for example. Those who want can go for different appearances for their folder for easy recognition or save information in different folder categories. This way it will be quite effortless to tell one from another.
B. Discard unnecessary documents
Are you wasting unnecessary time and space in keeping documents that are actually not useful to you? So many things can get inside your inbox but it doesn't follow that you have to save each one of these. You should take your time to follow the content presented to decide whether is going to help you in any way. If yes, go right ahead and save it discard otherwise. Maintaining high-volume content on the computer makes it hard for you to find the file you want in future.
C. Backup your files
Once you separate crucial information from the unnecessary ones it is time to save the vital data on your system. Besides, you should also take measures to backup the files to ensure that you do not lose anything important. While now it may seem tedious process to you, crashing of hard disk is nothing new or unheard of…..is it? There can be different ways of backing up your digital files. For example, those who want may opt for cloud-based storage or hosting services. It offers you a distinct advantage of accessing your files from any location of your choosing as well as multiple devices as tablet, Smartphone and PC.
Such services will offer automatic backup and this way doesn't require any time or effort from your part. Use of external hard disks remains the traditional mode of keeping backups of desired files. One can set them up for continuous file backup or go for regular manual procedures for the same.
However, before you consider the various backup methods, it is important to go through your company policies in this regard. After all, they may not approve of using external service providers to prevent compromising the sensitive data. If a recovery plan or backup method is already in place in your organization, there is nothing for you to worry. Security issues may crop up by saving files upon external hard disks as well.
D. Organize by date
One of the simplest ways to easily search for the file you require is through incorporation of date in the file name of your document. We do not need to open the file to know that it is the most recent of them all. Sometimes people provide version numbers to file for identifying changed or reworked documents.
Effectively Using Version Control
When multiple people are working on a single document, you need to be quite careful while using version control. Any mix up will lead to work loss and this will naturally and annoy people related to the file. Web-based services allow collaboration on projects and documents and this can be a good way to solve this problem.
To Wrap Up
When you quickly and easily find the files you require, you save on time and increase your productivity automatically. This is only possible through effective management. Intelligent filing of documents in a well-planned directory structure complete with the right version control for multiple users is the way to go. Also, there is no alternative to regular file backup but while doing that do not forget to check your company's policy in this regard.