When you just started with a handful of people, finding important files was a breeze. If you cannot remember where you stored an important file, it was easy to ask one of your employees where it was saved.
But as your operation grows bigger, the number of files that you need to store becomes bigger and more complicated, too. Without a clear system for organizing and storing digital data, your company can face a few woes, like issues with the taxation authorities, to delayed collection from clients.
Fortunately, you do not have to be a computer whiz to organize your business’ digital files, whether on a physical drive or the cloud. Here are a few tips from a leading IT solutions company.
A solid computer file organization system allows your business to achieve one key goal: access to files when you need it.
Use the program files folders for software
Whenever you are installing new software on a computer, take a cue from
IT support pros from AMC Dubai: use the default installation folder for such files. Otherwise, you will only create unnecessary clutter which makes digital file organization more complicated than necessary.
Designate a root folder for all documents
Create a separate root folder for all your documents. If your company is using Windows, you can use the My Documents folder as the root folder for all your digital documents. From there, you can create subfolders.
Using a root folder makes it more convenient to find the files you need as well as make it easier for you when you need to back up or archive documents.
Use descriptive folder names
As much as possible, avoid using codes as names for your folders unless everyone in your team uses such. Otherwise, you will only confuse yourself, wondering what the content of a specific folder is. Plain language gets the job done.
Nest your folders
With a root folder as your primary starting point for storage, you can begin your file organization with the creation of nest or subfolders.
For example, you can create an invoice folder from the My Documents folder. From there, you can compile your files according to the year. This helps prevent the storage of orphan files and makes it easier for you to find the data you need.
Establish a naming convention
As early as possible, come up with a naming convention for your files and inform your team of this.
Take note that the naming convention you can use may be limited by the system or software that you use. Some systems do not allow the use of spaces or special characters in the file names. Others have character limits.
Again, simplicity is the key. As much as possible, use descriptive file names and use common abbreviations that are easy for anyone in your team to understand. Ideally, you should be able to know the content of a file without opening it.
Save files ASAP
The best time to save a file is after you create it, making sure that you keep it in the right folder.
Set aside time to check your files and move old files away from your root folder. Unless you are sure that you do not need a file, the best thing that you can do is to create a separate folder for old files.
Apart from implementing a systematic approach to digital file storage, it is equally essential for businesses to backup data.
Data backup is an integral part of business continuity, and relying on a single backup option puts your company at high risk for succumbing to data loss.
Data loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including hardware crashes, theft, voluntary and involuntary deletion of files, and hacking.
Here are a few critical guidelines you should follow in backing up vital data.
Make it regular
To minimize the possibility of data loss, backing up data should be done regularly. As a rule of thumb, you should back up data that is so valuable that its loss can cause interference in your business’ operation.
You can choose between a physical media or the Cloud. For the former, make sure that the backup data is stored offsite in a secure location.
Cloud vs. physical storage
Many businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, have begun adopting cloud storage for backing up data for a variety of advantages. However, take note that storing data in the Cloud does not mean that you won’t be vulnerable to data loss.
If you prefer to back up your data locally, it is highly recommended that you use a single drive for each file type. To make this task hassle-free, you can store different types of files in either a separate drive or folder. At the end of the workday, you should back up the data, preferably with a software that has encryption capability.
If it is not possible to store the backup data in a secure offsite location, consider investing in a fire-proof safe.
Good for your business
Data is the new currency, especially in business. Don’t let missing or misplaced digital files cost your company opportunities. Make it a habit to organize and back up critical business data.
Sharon Mallorca is the Sales Manager at Create IT in Dubai. Established by innovative digital agency Create Media Group, Create IT has rapidly become the Middle East’s leading IT Support and IT Solutions company, providing the highest quality IT support and services to a growing portfolio of global brands.