Top 7 File Organisation Tips and Tricks
Fed up of keeping people waiting while you find the document you need? Tired of wasting time looking for lost files? If you’re here, it’s probably because your computer is a mess. Perhaps your desktop is covered in files, your documents folder is filled with old reports that no longer mean anything to you, and you’re already struggling to find that slide deck that cropped up in your inbox yesterday. The solution? Better file management. And if you’re wondering how to organise paperwork or digital documents, you’re in the right place – because our file organisation tips and tricks will have you set up in no time.
The Secret to Better File Management
Wondering how to organise paperwork effectively? Looking for the best way to organise files on computers? File organisation and management may seem like a tedious task, but ultimately, it will benefit your business in more ways than you can imagine. Find out how to organise files for optimum productivity below.
1. Stick to a System
The most important aspect of file organisation is consistency. Following a project or client-based structure is a simple way to make sure that all your files are organised and this way, trying to find them won’t take much brain power either. Whichever format you stick to will depend on the services you offer and the way you work but we recommend that every person in the business follows the same file structure, whatever that is. Working on multiple projects for the same clients? Simply create individual project folders within the top-level client one.
2. Be Consistent in Naming Files and Folders
The next step is to learn how to organise computer files by name. Not only does this make it easier to find documents and folders, but it also ensures that the whole business is following the same file structure – standardising processes and making sure that files aren’t lost or mistaken for one another. Use shortened names or give each folder a different code or appearance to make them easy to identify at a glance.
3. File by Document Types
The best way to organise files on computers? Keep related documents together. For example, if you work in Accounting, you’ll want to store your invoices together and keep your debit notes separate. This way, it’ll be much easier for you to find documents on a particular project or area of the business.
4. Don’t Save Unnecessary Documents
The secret to file organisation is archiving. People often make a habit of saving everything that ends up in their inbox – but one way to better your file organisation is to avoid this urge. So before you do anything, take a moment to skim through the documents and only save it if it’s relevant. For every document you file, either physically in a cabinet, or digitally there is a 98% chance that it will never be accessed again, so this means that we're filling up valuable document real estate with unnecessary items. Being logical in choosing which documents to keep will help to cut down the clutter and make it easier to find the files that matter.
A great way to tackle this is with document retention. Set up archiving policies and delete old documents to help simplify your systems and comply with strict privacy laws.
5. Keep it All Together
For file management to work, you need to make sure you scan your paper documents to digitise them and keep all your papers together. This is particularly important if you’re short on office space, you have remote workers or you’re looking to go paperless for environmental reasons. With digital document storage, you don' have to worry as much about keeping it all together, because without a single staple, folder, or paperclip, they are all stored in one central location.
6. Separate Your To-Do Lists
If you’re wondering how to organise paperwork, make sure you keep any ongoing work separate from work that has already been completed like in an in-tray. That way, once it’s done, you can move it over to the appropriate folder and tick off that task. So, if every couple of weeks there are documents that you’re no longer working on, you can move them over to the “completed” files.
7. Avoid Overfilling
Files with large numbers of documents can get pretty confusing and it can make it much more difficult to find what you’re actually looking for. As an example, you could create folders within the file and narrow the documents down by year. But, if you’re following all the steps above, this shouldn’t be a problem.
This might seem like a lot to get your head around, but what it boils down to is: storing in neat folders, organising by categories, and figuring out a file management format that suits you. Keeping on top of all your documents can be a tricky task, so why not use a system that can do it all for you? At Virtual Cabinet, we cater your Document Management System to your needs. By setting up rules and automatic filing systems, your file organisation is made easy. Our customer stories will tell you everything you need to know about why 70,000 customers choose our file organisation system for their business or firm.
Discover the art of filing with Virtual Cabinet and book a demo today – our expert team will be happy to help.