The electronic world can be a real chore for those who have to manage files. Whether you’re a small business startup or an established business in your industry, you know how critical it is to keep all company files and documents safe, secure, and accessible for everyone in the workplace. In an advanced technological era that everyone takes advantage of, digital archives have become more essential than ever. Document management is one real-time solution for your business organization and improved workflow.
When businesses consider effective strategies, you can ensure that your company operations are streamlined. Your staff will save time retrieving and locating files while ensuring that they’re securely kept from hackers. Keeping your data safe is only a matter of file management.
One key to running a successful business is controlling everything that happens in it. The only way possible is to store your data, files, and documents in an organized manner. How do you keep your office organized in managing your files? Listed below are valuable tips for implementing an effective file management strategy:
- Declutter First
To manage your documents, the first step is to review them all. Without the knowledge of what files you have, you cannot construct a system. Hence, it’s imperative to evaluate and categorize files based on the following criteria:
- Whether a file should be retained for legal reasons
- Whether a file is currently in use
- Whether a file is deemed useless
When you’re done, shred the papers you don’t need anymore. You can also remove your e-files from your cloud. Archive old documents that are important for legal reasons. If necessary, you can arrange for the archived paper files to be packaged and sent to a secure storage facility for safekeeping.
You can also digitize the paper documents to have backup copies in case accidents and loss will happen. Make use of managed file transfer solutions like https://www.goanywhere.com/solutions/managed-file-transfer to make this activity convenient and easy.
- Organize Digital Files
It’s crucial to organize your documents once they’ve been converted to digital form before retrieving them. It should be easy to access documents in your archive – as you wouldn’t want to search through several file cabinets looking for one document, in particular, you should also not have to sift through an overwhelmingly unorganized digital archive.
You may utilize an organization file software that can sort out your digital archive. By identifying some aspects of a document and tagging them with metadata, the software indexes automatically. For more accurate and effective file organization, it’s wise to further separate documents with additional details and metadata that should be done in manual labor.
Consider the following features and tools when organizing:
You should organize your digital files into folders just like you would in a file cabinet. Using this approach, your digital asset management software program will present you with a well-organized list of files instead of an overwhelming mess.
To separate your files, you should categorize them by folders. Consider creating folders based on clients, finances, suppliers, employees, legal office, taxes, and whatever other broad topics pertain to you. Each category should be subdivided into subcategories.
In addition to your folders, your files must also be categorized in the same manner. You should develop consistency in your file names, so that they’re sorted logically in your folders. This could result in a document named "A" or "1" at the start of the file name, being the oldest, for example. Additionally, you may want to organize invoices by month to make them easier to find.
- Select Reliable Storage
Cloud-based platforms and on-premises servers are the two options for storing documents. On-premise servers require more upfront investment and more IT personnel for continued maintenance. The most significant pro is its assured safety feature which also allows you to control and gain access to your documents at any given time.
On the other hand, there are many reasons for your business to store data online. With cloud-based platforms, you don't have to worry about maintenance, but you can probably trust a third party to manage your data, which could potentially trigger risks. Make sure the cloud storage provider that you’ll invest in meets your requirements for security. It’s also recommended that you have a backup for your systems and data.
- Evaluate Data Retention
Keeping track of the documents you should keep can help you increase security and save on storage space. It’s not always necessary to keep records forever, so you can segregate which ones can be automatically deleted or kept.
- Ensure Security
All of your company's critical records are found in your archive, even the most confidential ones. The security of your archive is becoming a top priority as data breaches become more prevalent. Most document management systems can also be configured to control the access of certain users to documents in the archive, allowing admins to define who can access specific files internally. Confidential information is kept secure by limiting vulnerabilities.
If all of your data and documents are scattered everywhere in your digital software and the physical office, it’ll be difficult for you to manage it well. Organize your files in such a way that they are easier to manage. To improve productivity and save time, follow the above file management tips.