File Management Tips for Small and Medium Businesses

employees talking to one another

Keeping electronic files and documents organised during these high-tech times can be a challenge for small businesses. Apart from storing documents on their desktops, laptops, or any mobile devices, companies are also discovering the convenience of using cloud storage for essential files and business applications.

Apart from these complexities, more businesses are resorting to file sharing between employees. They set up file servers and network-attached storage devices. All these steps can lead to an unorganised file management system with documents saved locally, in the cloud, and in the network.

Organisation of Electronic Files

Wherever files or documents are saved, it is essential to stay up-to-date. That is why some businesses seek the help of all things managed IT services provider. The goal is to ensure that everyone can find the files they need whenever they need it.

Organised file management is critical in a shared digital environment. If an employee is not around, the others should be able to locate a file created by that person. Additionally, small businesses need to protect business data from employees who have left the company. Here are some tips that are useful in keeping company files accessible and organised.

Default Installation Folders

Keep program files in their default installation folders after installing an application program. It is usually under the Program Files library. It will avoid confusion when there is a need to reinstall a program or application.

man looking at important documents

All Documents in One Place

For the individual user, there should be a ‘root’ folder to place all documents created. It is usually the My Documents folder, but in a file-sharing setup, there might be a need to create a single root folder where everyone can save all the documents. The Shared Documents can work for this setup, and subfolders can be created therein.

Logical Hierarchy for Folder Creation

Make sure that everyone in the network uses understandable languages in naming shared folders. Avoid abbreviations and other invented terms to avoid confusion when one needs to find files in a shared network.

Nest Folders

When creating folders within the main folders, make sure that it is vital to do so. For instance, folders containing 2017, 2018, and 2019 can be created within the Invoice folder. Avoid creating complex and deeply layered folders. Likewise, use understandable file names for the subfolders created.

File as You Finish

The best time to file documents is when it is first created. Make a habit of using Save As to file documents anew and make sure to name it before saving it in the proper folder.

Clean Out Files Regularly

In most cases, old files are named, such as the yearly files created within the Invoices. If these old files are no longer relevant, it is best to clear them out or delete them. A word of advice, though, make sure that these documents will never be needed anymore before permanently deleting them.

And finally, remember to back up the files regularly. Most small businesses lack a proper electronic file management system. It can lead to data losses and potential unproductive days. It is recommended to have an appropriate document management plan encompassing all aspects of handling, storage, retrieval, security, and backup.

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