We have all had to ask ourselves the question “where did that file go?” It is very frustrating to not know where your business files are when you need them that very minute. Then you have to waste time looking through different files and folders trying to find what you are looking for. This is time better spent achieving your business goals, but instead, it is just wasted. When you have disorganized files it is like looking to find a needle in a haystack. But instead of one haystack, you have ten, twenty, or even a hundred haystacks that you need to look through every day.
This article is going to help you solve that very problem and get you quickly on your way to an organized and efficient way of storing your documents.
Create a Folder Structure
Think about this scenario. You are walking through the grocery store after work. You don’t need much, just a few things for after dinner. Then you look up to find the sign that tells you where the bread is and it’s missing. In fact, all the signs are missing. All you want to do is find the bead and it feels impossible. As more people come into the store chaos occurs as people are searching unsuccessfully for the goods they want.
That is what it is like to have a business with no adequate filing or document management system. When you want to find that particular document you will have no idea where to look and the chances of you finding it soon are not good. Having a filing system eliminates any frustration when it comes to finding the document you need,
While there is no perfect way to organize your files, there are better solutions than others. When you create your system focus on making it simple to use and understand. If it is too complicated people will simply avoid using it which doesn’t help your business or it will be so confusing that it will quickly become disorganized again because people think they understand how to use it but in fact do not.
What Makes An Effective File Structure
Your filing structure has to work for everyone and should not be based on your own preference. The most important thing any file system can do is make things easy to find while being impossible to lose. You do this by creating a local hierarchy that eves every file a name and a folder it belongs to.
An easy way to make these changes is to stop having documents every one uses on your personal computer. The reason this doest work is that everyone will not be able to access it. Instead, choose an option like shared cloud storage so that everyone can access and use shared documents easily.
Keep Business And Personal Separate
Do not keep your business and personal files in the same place. You do not want or need fellow employees or bosses seeing your personal documents and photos because they were looking for business ones.
Group Your Files By Date And Category
An effective way to get your files organizes is to use broad categories You want to choose these categories based on your type of business and what you use and need. There are many choices you can make for categories and you can use as many of them as you would like. You can organize files by department, clients, products or users. These basic categories will be enough to get you started. There are also many times where grouping by date is appropriate. This is great for reports or files related to events that occurred at a specific date and time. For instance, you can keep all your budgets together so they can all be reference over time.
These simple tips will get you started the right way with the organization of your business to ensure no more lost files.