DM Solutions: How To Organise Your Computer Folders

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.

How To Organise Your Computer Folders
  1. Makes Sure It Makes Sense To All Users
  2. 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.

  3. Consider File Status
  4. 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:

    • Working – anything still being worked on, like reports, proposals or specific information for projects.
    • Final – anything finished and approved.
    • Archive – anything dealt with, so is no longer ‘live’. Also notes, research source links or shelved projects.

  5. Choose Good File Names
  6. Give files names that are memorable and indicates what the file contains. So, when naming your files, think of something:

    • Unique – to help differentiate it from others of the same ilk. For example, instead of “Finances 1”, consider “Stephen 1st Q 2021”
    • That Indicates Data It Contains– to help match quickly with the information you are looking for. Consider “Marketing Financial Reports 2021”.
    • Scannable – don’t be ambiguous or combine letters and numbers without any delineation. Consider:
    • “FinancialReportsPeter2021” or perhaps “ICES_Marketing_Proposal_Simon_11_21”

    • Without Special Characters – some programs don’t accept some special characters, so stick to underscores or hyphens.
    • Sequential – consider using numbers at the start of the name to keep files and folders in sequence. So instead of “January Report” and “February Report”, title the files “01 Report”, “02 Report” .

  7. Consider Procedural Stages
  8. 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:

    • 01 draft – the first draft, filled with notes
    • 02 first edit – after a first review, detailing recommended edits.
    • 03 second draft – the second version complete with edits.
    • 04 second edit – after the second review, detailing recommended changes.
    • continue until …

    • 05 final version – the version to be published.
    • 06 archive – to stockpile notes, sources and reference material.
    • Clear The Clutter

    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.

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At Kefron we see complexity and make it simple. Our business exists to improve how you manage your information, be it Document Management Services or digitisation of your information. We can make a real difference to your business. This is what drives us.

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