In modern life, time is precious so you should spend it wisely. In business, time really matters and every issue must be resolved quickly. You might be sitting at your desk, when your boss request a project that was discarded a couple of years ago. How to find that file without wasting the full day searching through old files? The answer is simply: with organized file and folder structures.
How to organize your files?
Organizing files on your computer is just like organizing anything else. Folder structures can help you. A folder structure is the way folders are organized on your computer. You might have the main folders like Folders 1, 2, and 3 and the Subfolders 1B and 1B-1 below. Folders and subfolders can keep your files organized in a logical way.
The best folder structure is the one that imitate the way you work. Browsing through your folders and finding files should be intuitive. If your method of organization is tedious, it is going to be hard for the rest of your team to follow the structure. For company projects, choose something that works well for everyone in the team.
4 Effective folder structures to organize files
The first step to create an effective folder structure is figuring out your top-level folder. Do you want to simply make a new folder for every new project. Or you could organize by time, with folders and subfolders for each year and month.
Once you have worked out your top-level folder, it’s time to organize your subfolders.
File folders organized by project
The folder names act as both keyword tags and add an extra level of organization. If you sort the folders by name, they will automatically be ordered by date due then project type. If you search by product name or ad type, your folders should pop up easily.
Folders organized by date
You can have 3 types of folders: working, final, and archive folders.
Working: Here you should keep all the files you are currently working on.
Final: Included anything ready and finished.
Archive: Here you can put anything that does not fit into your working or final folder such as notes, brainstorms, research, and other miscellaneous info.
This folder structure is particularly useful if you are working on a project with multiple pieces or for teams working on a project where many people are working on the same task.
“Year” or “client” folders
Creating folders for each client might be a good option. If you have an overwhelming number of receipts for business expenses, sorting them in folders by year or month could be a simple and effective solution.
Instead of, or in addition to, folder structures, you could also try tagging files. The benefit of tagging is the ability to add multiple tags to a file, such as tagging an invoice for Client XYZ with an “invoice” tag and a “Client XYZ” tag. Then you can see all invoices together or all files related to “Client XYZ” together, depending on your query. By using tags, you don’t have to get an organization scheme up front.
If you sync your files with OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive, you can use Zapier to create your folder structure. The first step, in this case, is deciding when you will need to create new folders. If you do it every time new projects start, it is advisable to set up a Zap to watch your project management app for a new project. If you want new folders created every month or week, use Zapier’s Schedule tool to create folders on a certain date.
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