Are you a small business without an organized file system? Does organizing always seem to take a backseat to more important projects? Do you feel you lose time every day searching for files you thought you knew where you saved them?

If so, then you need a digital file management system.

Don’t spend another day searching needlessly for that important client file. And stop redoing your hard work because you lost everything again due to a crash.

With the following tips, you’ll never again risk losing important documents or wasting time searching for files. Keep reading to learn how to create a system that will give you back precious time and money your business can’t afford to lose.

Benefits of Digital File Management

Over thirty years ago many people pondered the idea of a paperless society with all our files and paperwork becoming electronic files. Now, individuals and corporations alike realize they are still drowning in the documentation, only now it is digital.

If you find yourself unable to retrieve important documents in a matter of seconds, you should consider creating and implementing your own digital document management system.

Your digital filing box shouldn’t be overflowing at the seams and piling up in the corner the way your paper files used to. You need to have a system that allows for easy retrieval and better security.

Some benefits of a proper digital file management system include:

  • Better security
  • Easily find what you need
  • Better collaboration
  • Less need for storage space
  • Fewer lost files

Stop wasting time and money recreating lost documents and start increasing productivity with the right storage system.

Tips for Getting Organized Digitally

Getting organized can be daunting. However, follow these tips to ease your transition into your newly organized file management so you never lose another file again.

1. Determine Various Types of Files

What types of files do you need to store? Do you create several videos a week? Or are you a graphic artist with thousands of images you need to find quickly?

When organizing anything you need to determine your categories and then sort everything accordingly. With your digital files, you might categorize by season or by types of files or projects.

Regardless, your first step is to determine what you have and sort it in the best system for your business. Think about how your employees will retrieve files—what will they naturally search for first?

2. Get Files off Your Desktop Screen

Do you have dozens of important documents on your desktop screen that you feel you can’t afford to lose? This is causing visual clutter to your workspace as well as creating problems whenever you’re unsure where to look for something.

Instead, have a specific file location for all your documents. Then create a hierarchy of nested folders according to their use or file type as determined above. When all your files are housed within one central location you know where to start when looking for your documents down the road.

3. Have a Digital Security Strategy

Common cyber threats hinder business owners everywhere. And the more disorganized you are the easier it is for criminals to hack your system.

Don’t risk your business falling prey to cybercrimes. Instead, ensure that you have an organized system, run regular backups, and cull your files regularly.

4. Make Extra Space for Storage

Don’t spend unnecessary money on storage space. Take the time to regularly declutter your digital filing system just as you would with regular paper files.

Just because your digital files aren’t taking physical space within your office doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you time and money. Ensure that you have the storage you need for the files you need and get rid of the rest.

5. Utilize Uniform Names for Files

Every time you save a file, have a uniform system for how you name everything. Some things to keep in mind include keywords you’ll remember, including the date, or what silo each file falls into.

For example, your fall images for your social media posts can all be named “image description_fallYY_Instagram.” This will make searching for files easier as your digital files grow over the years.

6. Determine Who Can Access Which Files

Some files you’ll want to retain the original file without allowing others full editing access. Other files you’ll need to collaborate with your co-workers.

If you need to share an image but don’t want to send the full PNG or JPG file, you can convert it to a PDF and share it with your coworkers. To learn how to do this you can use this guide to change PDF files to an image or vice versa.

7. Run Regular Backups

Don’t risk losing everything you’ve worked so hard to create and organize. Be sure you run regular backups and save everything somewhere safe, preferably offsite.

The key here is to have a system and a schedule so you can rest easy knowing exactly what you saved and where.

8. Run a Regular Audit

As the years go by, you’ll end up with hundreds or thousands of files. So, you will want to run an audit on a regular basis to cull any unnecessary or outdated files. This will help your business to maintain a reasonable amount of files making storage and file retrieval much easier to manage.

Is your system still working? Could it be improved in any way? Where are you losing time and productivity looking for files? Is there a backlog of projects due to the inability to find the information you need?

Without a regular audit, you run the risk of continuing to use a system that is outdated and unhelpful.

Improve Workflow and Productivity by Getting Organized Today

When you use a system you can rest assured that all your team members are on the same page and following the same guidelines. You know exactly where to find that important file for your best client. And you know exactly what to search for since you name everything uniformly.

Stop wasting time and getting frustrated recreating files your coworker lost. And stop worrying needlessly about getting hacked or losing all your files from a crash.

With the right digital file management system, you can increase productivity and decrease frustration immediately.

For more great information on this and other topics, check out the rest of our blog.

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