WHERE, OH WHERE is that particular file? Image files, PDFs, past reports and documents — all the files we save have value. Being able to retrieve them is key, and the method by which files are stored is crucial for workplace efficiencies. Whether it’s on a network server, a Web server, or a personal PC, proper organization and protocol also helps mitigate data loss.
According to PC Magazine writer Jill Duffy, those businesses that have “clean and common-sense folder structures” are also “the ones best positioned for continued success and growth.” In her article, “Getting Organized: Use Folders to Unclutter Your Desktop,” Duffy provides practical tips for distinguishing directories and nesting sub-folders. Below are five ideas from Duffy to keep mind when devising a well-ordered file system.
1. Plan First
The starting point, Duffy says, is planning. “Sketch out your folder structure before implementing it,” she writes.
2. Think about Your Business
Your file structure should reflect the operations of our organization. “Folders are the skeleton of your business,” Duffy writes. “Like a building’s structure, they support everything else that goes up around them, from creative design to straightforward functionality.”
3. Use Numbers and Tags
Consider implementing a naming convention that will enable users to sort and find files quickly. “Using dates becomes extremely useful when you have to archive,” Duffy suggests. “One of the reasons to use tags and numbers is that it helps keep file names unique. You never want two files or folders named the same thing because if you accidentally drag and drop them to the same location, one could overwrite the other.”
4. Consider Using Color
“Mac OS is fantastic at letting you quickly color-code folders by right-clicking.” Duffy warns, however, “You can do it on a PC, but it’s clunky.”
5. Stick to It
Duffy advises, “Be consistent with naming conventions when you create new folders.”