File and document management are an integral part of the business process. It is the systematic organization of files and documents in a manner that encourages productivity, efficiency, the delivery of quality service and products, and increases business output.
If you have been a victim of missing documents and files at work, then you know what that loss cost you. It is always satisfying to locate a file when you need it immediately.
If you find yourself frequently losing essential files when you need them the most, the following tips should help you improve your file management. Thus, you can spend your time on more important business activities instead of hours every week looking for missing documents and files.
Store Data in a Single Location On Your PC
An efficient way of having an organized file system on your PC is to store all relevant documents in one big, easily accessible folder on your PC. Since most files are stored in alphabetical order, this also makes them easy to locate.
There’s no point storing the documents in deeper folders if you use them frequently. Most PCs come with built-in folders that indicates where particular items should go. For instance, songs go in My Music, while files and documents go in My Documents. Use them to your advantage.
One of the ways to save time in file retrieval is to create shortcuts. A Shortcut is an icon or link that you can place anywhere to gain instant access to the specific folder, file, document or program on your computer. Once you click that, the link directs you to the exact file you seek.
Normally, the actual folder, file, document or program remains stored in the original location. All you need do is create a shortcut icon and place it in a convenient location such as on the desktop; then double click, and you gain access to stored files.
Name Each File Appropriately
File naming is crucial to good file management. Accurately naming documents, files, and folders will naturally create easy access to and retrieval of such items later. To name a file or folder, use consistent and specific names. For instance, instead of just naming your file Client X-Invoice 1, you should try July Invoice for Client X and put the file in a folder named Invoices and Payments.
Arrange Your Files in Logical Order
Of course, there will be specific files you often use or would always like to retrieve consistently. You will do well to order them in such a way that they can easily be found. To do this, add a “!” or “AA” or “1” to the beginning of the file name.
That way, these documents are arranged numerically with the first number being at the top. Set up your file folders in a hierarchical structure. This way, you can speedily identify its location as well as instantly retrieve them whenever you need them.
Backup Files Regularly
When files and data are saved on your computer, the only way to ensure they do not get lost as a result of failed hard drives, malicious attacks or malware is to back them up regularly. While applications and operating systems can be easily reinstalled, lost files and data may be impossible to recover.
All of these methods, when used correctly, will ensure that important files are always within reach. This will maximize the efficiency of your business and help cut operating costs by hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, per employee.