One thing that most people must do several times per day is to locate files in a cloud storage platform. Whether you have photos in iCloud or use OneDrive with your other company cloud solutions, cloud storage platforms are one of the most used online applications.
If your cloud storage isn’t well organized, then it can add additional hours onto your week from all those extra minutes per file search.
It’s estimated that 2.5 hours per day are spent by knowledge workers simply searching for information. That equates to approximately 50 hours per month or more than a full workweek.
With that kind of time involved in searching for digital information, it pays to keep file platforms as organized as possible to reduce the time it takes to find documents.
A clean file structure also reduces the risk of having files compromised in a cloud jacking because they were misfiled and not properly protected.
One of the tricks of good organization is to begin with a plan and then include tactics to maintain a tidy file structure. Just like a lawn or garden, cloud file storage can easily get unruly if not maintained regularly. Here are some great tips to help you do that.
Create a Standard Naming Hierarchy
One person’s logic for file hierarchy is bound to be completely different from their co-worker’s. If you don’t designate a standard naming scheme for folder structure in a shared cloud storage environment, you’ll end up with some employees using Department > Project, and others using Project > Customers for their file organization.
To keep files easier to find by everyone, it’s important to put a consistent hierarchy in place and have all employees follow that. This way, no matter who creates or stores a file, others will know where to expect it to be.
Have a 10 File Minimum to Create a New Folder
Too many folders can make it more difficult to find documents on cloud storage platforms. Users end up playing a “shell game” where they click into folder after folder, hoping to find what they’re looking for.
To keep folders to a manageable number, don’t create a new folder for less than 10 unique files that need to be stored together. If there are fewer than 10, then find the best logical existing folder to place them and use file tagging or names to differentiate as needed.
File Things Right the First Time
We’ve all just saved to “downloads” or a general file folder at the moment, even though we knew that wasn’t the right place to put that file. Not filing things where they should go immediately is one of the biggest reasons that cloud file storage can get so out of hand and disorganized.
When you tell yourself, “I’ll move that where it should go later,” more often than not, “later” never comes, and files become more difficult to find over time. Instead, take those few extra seconds to file things right the first time, which will save much more time when you need to retrieve that file later.
Keep Filing “Shallow” – Just 2-3 Folders Deep
One of the things that can cause people to save things in a general folder instead of filing them correctly is if file structures are too deep. They don’t want to continue clicking into folders to go down the rabbit hole, it’s too much work.
Keep your cloud storage file structure shallow, meaning only 2-3 folders deep at the most. This makes it easier to find files and improves the chances that users will file things where they need to go.
Archive Inactive Files Each Quarter
Over time, inactive files build up in cloud storage. These are files that you don’t want to delete, but they’re not actively being used any longer. These files end up getting in the way of users looking for active files and can make file searches take longer.
It’s a good best practice to go through your cloud files each quarter and put those no longer being actively used in an archive folder that keeps them out of the way.
Do Storage Cleanup Once Per Week
You can keep your cloud storage from getting disorganized by maintaining it once per week. File cleanup consists of deleting any unnecessary files (like multiple drafts of finished content) and refiling things that might have been saved to the wrong folder.
If done once per week, this doesn’t take nearly as long as it would if done once per month. It becomes a quick maintenance task that has a lot of benefits when it comes to reducing the time it takes everyone to find documents.
Get Cloud Storage & Backup Solutions from Quantum PC Services!
Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business with great cloud storage and backup solutions that keep your files easy to get to and secure at the same time.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.