Wherever the files are kept, it is essential to maintain their organization and integrity. The purpose of electronic file management is to guarantee that you can access what you’re looking for, even if it was created years ago.
In a collaborative setting, the appropriate management of digital documents is of the utmost importance. For example, if one of your staff is away (temporarily or permanently!), you should be able to access any documents created or handled by that individual quickly.
This article highlights 7 Tips for organizing digital files.
When installing software applications, stick to the default file locations. When running Windows, application program files will often be located under the (Drive Letter:)->Program Files directory as a matter of convention. Installing the software in a different location is confusing and needless.
Arrange all files, so they are contained under a single “root” folder. In a Windows system with a single user, the folder labelled “My Documents” is the directory used by default.
You should attempt to accomplish the same in an environment where files are shared. To organize your documents, make a single root folder that you can title “Shared Files,” for instance, and then place each document in a subfolder that you create inside the root folder. When all of your electronic documents are stored in a single spot, it is much simpler to find items and perform backups and archiving.
In a sense, these are the drawers of the filing cabinet housed within your computer. When naming your folders, use easily understood language; you do not want to find yourself in a situation in the future where you are staring at this collection of folders and asking what it is.
Create additional folders within these primary folders as necessary. For example, a folder titled “Invoices” may contain subfolders titled “2022,” “2021,” and “2020.” A client-specific folder may contain the folders “client data” and “correspondence.” The objective is to keep each file in a folder rather than a list of orphaned files.
If feasible, put dates in the file names of your electronic documents. The purpose of file naming is to determine the file’s content without opening it. Therefore, if the file is a letter to a customer telling him that payment is past due, name it “overdue 20180” instead of “letter.” How would you tell to who the letter is addressed if you do not open it?
When you finish creating a document, it is ideal for putting it in the appropriate folder. Therefore, make it a habit to use the “Save As” dialogue box to save your file and name it, ensuring that it is placed in the appropriate location from the beginning.
Establishing and adhering to a routine for backing up your files consistently is critical. This is true whether you transfer your files onto a different drive or tape.
Electronic document administration must be included in the comprehensive document management strategy that your company should implement. A good management plan should cover all aspects of working with documents, such as storing them, retrieving them when needed, making backups, and ensuring their safety.