File management is now a critical ingredient to a good user experience and productivity. Of course, proper file management comes with lots of advantages, and it is easy to see why it is taken even more seriously in the business world. Business, work or your personal computer, you need to properly organize your digital files to avoid spending unnecessary time looking for files.
If you are in business, then you ought to know that companies lose a lot of money with data issues. So, don’t wait until tragedy strikes because organizing your files is now easier than ever. You don’t need to be IT savvy to keep tabs on your files. Let us walk you through some of the plausible tips to organize your digital files better.
1. Follow Proper Naming Practices
While multiple factors may inspire the way you name your files, keep in mind that your memory isn’t super. After all, we are human, and we are prone to forget things. Keep your naming convention consistent for both your folders and files. The name should tell you what is inside the file or folder without necessarily having to open it. Shun from using abbreviations because you will probably forget them regardless of how much sense they make at the moment.
If you opt for sequential numbering, precede these numbers with zeros such as 001 instead of 1 to make sorting much more effortless. Also, make sure your spelling and grammar are correct to avoid getting wrong search results. In as much as you want the name to be informative, there is no need to stack a lot of information in it. For example, you don’t have to indicate the date, type, and author because all these metadata are automatically captured when you create the folder.
2. Convert Files To Desired Formats Before Grouping
Grouping your files is an excellent way of organizing digital files. Well, there are several ways you can group your files on your computer. However, grouping them based on the file format makes it easy to handle and access your files. Some of the popular file formats include Word, Excel, PDF, and media formats. The list is long. Before grouping them, there are specific files you would want to convert to a different format.
For example, rather than storing an image file in PDF format on your Mac device, you can convert pdf to jpg and then proceed to group the file in the standard image format rather than mixing them up. There are many nice PDF editors you can use to convert files to and fro depending on your needs and your device. You can use the Preview tool for basic PDF editing, but it would be best if you used a proper converter to avoid low-quality output. Again, there are plenty of up to scratch converters ranging from online to digital.
Just choose the appropriate PDF editor then once you have converted your target files to desired formats, you can comfortably group them based on respective formats. It will help keep your critical files organized!
3. Get Rid Of Trash
If you audit your computer files, there is a high chance that there are lots of files you probably don’t need. What, therefore, is the logic of keeping files if you don’t need them? They could be redundant or simply unwanted files that eat up your hard disk space. Just delete them to free up more space in your computer and allow you to add new useful data. This is also a good way to clean up your hard disk to improve your computer’s speed and general performance.
You can use a dedicated disk cleanup tool to effectively eliminate trash in your computer and make it lively again. If you do it manually, you ought to be cautious because you might delete the wrong files. However, don’t panic because you can retrieve them from the recycle bin.
4. Leverage Cloud Storage Providers
In the current digital and social landscape, the rate of file sharing is enormous. People are sharing information across various devices over vast territorial borders. If you are going to keep sending files back and forth from your computer, you will become exhausted and have disintegrated files.
The best remedy is to use cloud storage providers. There are several free cloud storage services that offer you gigabytes worth of space to store your data. This way, you can store and sync your data across various devices so that you can access them without device and space limitations.
Some of the popular cloud services like OneDrive and Google Drive integrate with the file explorer to allow you to manage your files from the same place.
5. Archive Old Files
Sometimes there is no need for old files to strain your main data drive. If you have old files that you don’t regularly modify or use, you can create an Archive folder. Since they are generally kept separate from the main drive, you can use a slower and cheaper storage solution. Sort these files based on their modification date and create them in an Archive folder.
6. Establish File Storage Protocol
If you are in charge of file management in an institution or business, you may not be the one filing digital information every time. It might be your junior team members or just any other member of your company. Employees are not the same and have different behaviors. While some take file organization seriously, others can neglect it.
The best way to handle this is to set and deploy company protocols regarding how to organize files. The set rules should not be vague but rather precise. Specify how they should name files and folders, when to switch between local use and cloud, and when and how to do backups, among others. With clear rules and procedures, employees will be obliged to organize digital files much better than if they were to determine by themselves.
From the information we have covered in this article, it goes without saying that better organization of digital files has incredible benefits. Whether it is about your personal computer or those for the company, you should organize them better. Leverage some of the tips we have highlighted to help improve the way you hand digital file management. It is also important to think of file security as you look to organize your files.