Maybe you’re familiar with the advantages of having a neat and organized desk, but how are your digital organizational skills?
It’s easy to see when a paper storage cabinet is unorganized. But with digital documents, it’s all too easy to ignore the virtual clutter. Learning how to organize digital files is crucial, and it’s especially important when you’re working with a cloud-based file sharing provider.
If you’re ignoring your digital mess, you could be missing out on some of the top benefits of online file sharing services. Stay tuned to learn what your digital disorganization could be costing you and how to take back control.
3 Consequences of Unorganized Files
Are your digital files scattered in the cloud? If so, see if you can relate to any of the following chaos-related consequences.
1. Lost resources
Searching for a missing file can cost your business in several ways. First, searching for misplaced documents wastes time. According to an IDC white paper, employees in certain industries can spend as much as 4.5 hours every week searching for missing documents. This means that each of your employees could be wasting nearly an entire month per year, every year.
Of course, employees aren’t searching for documents for free. As an employer, you’re losing money and opportunity when employees are unable to find what they need. When properly utilized, online file sharing should save resources, not waste them.
2. Lost opportunities
Whether you’re in services or sales, there’s no way to know when an opportunity to close a groundbreaking deal will present itself. Even if you’ve been working on a warm lead for months, moving forward in the closing process can take you pleasantly by surprise.
When you find yourself in need of contracts, project timelines, quotes, summaries of included services, or any other documents needed to complete the process, not being able to find the files you need can be time consuming and embarrassing.
Such a scenario can also damage a relationship with a new customer before it even begins. Working with an online file sharing provider should help you impress new and existing clients, a benefit that can be erased through unorganized files.
3. Lost data
Have you ever misplaced a shopping list or weekend to-do list? Even if you completed the list yourself, it can be difficult to remember every item on it. The same goes for digital files. Misplacing a single file, or even worse, an entire folder of data can leave you scrambling to remember the details.
Without a data organization plan in place, employees can accidentally mislabel, misplace, or even delete documents. Even if you’re able to reproduce the lost data, knowing if you remembered every missing piece can be impossible. And should you lose critical data belonging to a client, there could be serious repercussions, including litigation.
Online file sharing should provide you with peace of mind, but this only comes when you’re confident in your digital organization process.
Tips on Digital File Organization
Now that you know how critical it is to keep your digital files organized, here are some tips to help you get there.
Avoid letting files sit in a temporary folder or location. Get into the habit of properly naming and filing documents immediately after creating them. For some industries, templated folders can help place files in their proper home right away. When organizing your digital space, it’s always easier to put a file in the correct spot right away instead of spending your Friday afternoon organizing the files you created throughout the week.
Come up with a file and folder naming process
It won’t do much good if you’re organizing your files one way while someone else on the project is using a different process. When developing your data naming process, keep it simple. When you look at a file or folder, you should be able to determine its contents just by its name.
For example, if you’re saving a project quote for a client, simply saving it as “Project Quote” won’t help you when it’s time to find the file again. Instead, include as much detail as possible. Think about dates, client names, and the type of file. A better name for such a file might be “August 2019 Project Quote Client ABC”.
The key to coming up with a good file organization process is to make sure everyone on your team is using the same approach. Come up with universal abbreviations (Corp instead of Corporation, PBT instead of Project Budget Tracker) and decide on how dates will be recorded. When searching for a document, an employee looking for a file with “July 2019” will never find it if it’s been named “2019-7”.
Delete with caution
Deleting business files of any type can be risky. Unless you know for certain that a file will never be needed again (and you’re not legally required to keep it), it’s better to archive files rather than delete them. Online file sharing services can provide you with different storage options for active and inactive data.
The consequences of having unorganized digital files can be dire. But the good news is that once you have a system in place, it becomes easier to stay organized and save your business time and money. If you’re ready to learn more about secure cloud file sharing and how to organize virtual documents, reach out to Onehub for a demonstration.