As its most basic, Document Management is about safely storing files and folders so they can be easily tracked and retrieved when needed. Modern DM solutions offer much more with the benefit of digital technology, but how files and folders are organised is still important. So what is the best way to organise computer folders? And how can a digital storage repository achieve maximum efficiency?
DM automation involves securely capturing documents and storing them, but the array of file types can be extensive, making it essential to categorise them clearly. For this reason, how you structure the folder system is very important. This structure relates to such basic ideas as the name given to individual files and folders, but equally includes the key data that the DM solution extracts.
Documents can be scanned and uploaded into the system, while electronic documents are processed immediately. Even images can be included using sophisticated Optical Character Recognition technology. And because automated DM solutions can be accessed via a Cloud-based portal, documents can be accessed from anywhere.
It takes a little time initially to set everything up, but the effort is worth it, with the benefits of an automated DM solution including greater security, improved compliance rates, better backup and disaster recovery, and of course easier data retrieval.
However, it’s important to have clearly organised folders and files to complement the system and ensure documents do not go astray. So, what are the key pointers to follow to more effectively organise them? Here are 5 recommendations.
Choose a filing system that makes sense to all of the personnel who could be using it – after all, is more than one user needs to access these folders, then naming conventions need to be agreed, clearly understood and followed. That way, a clutter of document versions and duplicates can be avoided. There is no single way to do this, but you can test it by organising a format, then leaving the system for a few hours before returning and trying to find a specific file. If it’s found easily, then the system seems to work; if not, then you’ll need to tweak it some more.
At any particular time, you’ll be working on projects that are at different stages of development. It is important to reflect the different status in how you organise your computer folders. For example:
Give files names that are memorable and indicates what the file contains. So, when naming your files, think of something:
“FinancialReportsPeter2021” or perhaps “ICES_Marketing_Proposal_Simon_11_21”
Where files pass through a number of procedural stages, the stages themselves can help to title the sub-folders within the main folder. Of course, keep the titles short and easy to remember.
For example, perhaps you are writing an end-of-year Financial Report which needs to be reviewed several times to ensure accuracy. The procedure could be:
continue until …
When files are no longer relevant, it’s best to get rid of it. It is best to schedule this is regular intervals, say every 4 or 6 months when you can go through all the folders and remove unnecessary files. However, be sure you keep important financial documents so as not to compromise data legislation (GDPR) compliance.
If you would like to talk to a Kefron’s team member about our Document Management Solutions, click here.