File Management

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File Management

Document management systems are the first step to on the path to improving efficiency in most offices.

Unfortunately, during the process of learning the system, mistakes will be made. These mistakes can cost you a lot of lost time and productivity.

Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Inappropriate File Naming

This tends to happen when you are downloading encrypted documents. The files are often a string of alphanumerics and completely indecipherable.

If you and other people in your office will be using that file, it is best to rename it something meaningful. There’s no point in a having a file named “lkwefwsef54.pdf” when it can be named “File_Naming_Conventions.pdf”. Rename the file as soon as you download it or save it from your email. It will save a lot of time later when you look back at that file and don’t have to remember what it’s for.

Folder and File Duplication

There’s no point in having a master folder with the name “work”, another with the name “project”, and yet another named “files” if they all serve the same purposes. Simply create a root folder for whatever will be held beneath it. For instance a root folder called “Marketing” might have folders under it called “Graphics”, “Flyers”, “Ad Copy” etc.

It can sometimes help to have a single person or a group of people determine what the folder lay out will be. Create a master for the document folders. This is an area where it can help to get some input from your IT people. They should be able to help you avoid folder and file names that are going to be a problem as the nesting gets deeper within the structure (There is a hard limit of 255 characters…this includes spaces).

Providing Unlimited Access to All Users

While there will almost certainly be a need to have a place for all staff members to access documents, the majority of documents are generally only accessed by a small group of people. For instance, your operations people probably don’t need to access the folders that the marketing folks use. This is why making sure that only the groups of people who have a business purpose for accessing folders are able to do so. This is best accomplished with folder and file permissions. We can help you write a file permission plan that makes sense for your business.

Saving Files on Your PC

Many clients like to keep copies of files they use often stored on their desktops for “easy access.” While at first this might seem efficient, in most cases, desktop PCs are not backed up as a part of the nightly backup process. Only the servers are backed up on a regular basis. If you store files on your PC and the PCs hard drive dies… those files are gone for good. Make sure that all files are stored on your servers and that your backups are running daily. Test your backups at least once per month.

Need help setting up a file management system that makes sense for your business? Give us a call. We can help with software solutions and procedures to keep your organization running smoothly.