The digital age has streamlined the file management process for many businesses and certainly cut down on the amount of time that it takes to process physical documents. This has been good both for the environment and workplace productivity. However, there are still many misconceptions and poor management systems in place in man businesses that can lead to lost files and as a result a loss of valuable time.

To try and help you deal with this, we have developed an article that shows you some best practices when it comes to file management you can easily implement in your file management. Keep reading to find out more.

 

  1. Make sure the documents are easily searchable with good metadata

Another way you can cut down on the time you spend finding documents is through making the document easily searchable. Include keywords that relate to clients, dates and the type of work that the document relates to. This will increase the chance of you finding what you are looking for through your system’s search function.

The best way to impart information into your documents is through editing the file’s metadata. This is information associated with the document that is often auto-tagged when you create them. Info can include the title, author, associated dates and file versions.

This info is great as it can increase the number of parameters that you can search by. Having strong searchable metadata is now in line with Microsoft guidelines as it decreases the amount of time you will spend searching for documents. The metadata from the documents can also be used to classify them. For example, if you work in a construction company, you could classify documents based on an index including areas of the business like planning, sales, contracts, and other departments.

 

  1. Use a document scanner to keep a record of physical items

For some documents, a printout will be necessary for meetings and potentially presentations. However, digitizing this can often be a long process. If you invest some time in scanning the documents you will make sure all of your documents are available digitally for the whole team. This will help you keep your file management up to date. Most modern smartphones will be equipped with document scanning software.

 

  1. Create an ‘Inbox’ for your computer files

In a similar way to how email arrives on your account, creating a personal inbox for documents that require processing can help you better manage your time. Rather than having to save documents to specific areas within your file management system, sending them to an inbox will help you focus on whatever it is you are working from. After this, you can pencil in time to clear your inbox and make sure everything is saved in the proper place.

 

Incorporate your file management system into your email and todo list

Having a well-structured file system will make your job easier when it comes to saving items in a straightforward and searchable way. To get the most out of your system, we recommend integrating it with your email and to-do list system.

Most modern apps will allow for useful integrations that can link tasks to documents and save emails as PDFs for the system. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions on how your business can improve its file management system.

Published: 13th February 2020