One of the top three productivity issues cited by 58% of office professionals is finding files in a timely fashion. Just looking for the documents you need can take as much time as doing the actual work you needed the file for in some cases.
Information is created at a dizzying pace, which means that every day the average company is adding several new files to cloud storage. If this isn’t done efficiently or with an organized plan, file storage can easily get out of hand.
When working with a business IT consultant to improve productivity, one of the first places we’ll look is at the everyday tasks that can be done more efficiently. All those minutes spent searching for cloud files easily add up, so keeping your cloud files better organized can mean big-time savings for your entire team.
If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to find the right file or your cloud storage is getting out of hand, read on for several great tips to keep your documents better organized.
Create & Enforce a Standard Folder Hierarchy
When several employees are using the same company cloud storage, if they’re not all using the same folder hierarchy, you can end up with duplicate files, and confusion.
Create and enforce a standard hierarchy that will be used for all documents. For example, you may decide that the top level is “Department Name” and the next level is “Workflow Type.”
When everyone is on the same page with the file naming structure, it’s easier for everyone to find files that may have been saved by someone else.
Don’t Save Files Too Many Folders Deep
One driver of unorganized cloud storage and duplicate files is when users have to click through too many folders to get to a document.
If you’ve nested files 5 or 6 folders deep, they can easily be missed and staff can feel like it’s too much work to save files that deep, so they end up saving them in the wrong folder.
A rule of thumb for organized files is to keep your folder structure flat and only go about 2-3 folders deep.
Only Create Folders for 10 or More Files
Have you ever clicked into a folder only to see one or two files and wondered why the user bothered? The more folders that people must search through when looking for documents, the longer it takes to find what they need.
You can keep your cloud storage more organized by instructing your team to only create a new folder for 10 or more files.
Use Tagging for Easier Document Searches
Many cloud storage platforms allow you to tag files or add other metadata. Tagging can make it easier to find documents that may not have names as descriptive as you’d like.
If your file storage platform does not support tagging, you can do your own version by using “(tag)” at the end of your file names.
Delete Unnecessary Files One a Month
With more files being added to a company’s cloud storage each day that goes by, if you don’t cull your storage from time to time, it eventually becomes too difficult to find anything due to the sheer number of files.
It’s a good idea to do maintenance for your cloud storage about once per month and remove any files no longer needed, such as earlier drafts of a completed document.
Another benefit of doing this regularly is that your file storage won’t reach its limit as fast because you’ll be regularly removing files you no longer need.
Archive Older Documents Quarterly
There are some files that you need to keep for compliance needs, historic purposes, or as an occasional reference. However, these files might only be needed once in a blue moon.
Instead of leaving them in the mix with all your other active files, move them to an Archive folder that is at your top folder level. This allows them to still be easily referenced but gets them out of the way of active file search traffic.
Use File Permissions
Not every user needs access to every department’s files. If you use file permissions, then users only see the files they need for their work.
This makes it easier for users to search for files because they’ll only be searching through the ones that they have permission to view.
Using file permissions also allows you to add additional security measures to certain files and folders like encryption or “do not forward.”
Get Help Putting an Optimized Cloud Infrastructure in Place
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business review problem areas of your cloud infrastructure and help you optimize for better productivity.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.