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3 Tips for Organizing Your Electronic Work Documents

3 Tips for Organizing Your Electronic Work Documents

Although technology is supposed to make our lives easier, it doesn't always work out that way. Keeping track of all the data from your job is tough. Employees usually share these files, which makes managing all of their changes a nightmare.

Having these files organized helps avoid embarrassing situations. Here are three tips for organizing your electronic work documents.

Create a Logical Order for All Your Folders

When digitizing your business documents, put them in a single "root" folder so that everything is easily accessible in one convenient location. For environments where files are shared, make a separate folder and call it "shared documents," so there is no confusion.

Next, organize all of your files and create subfolders inside the root folders. These folders should relate to the main folder, and you might need additional folders within these subfolders.

For example, you might have a subfolder for a specific customer. Within that customer's folder might be a folder for their prior purchases, one for their upcoming purchases, and another folder with a summary of their purchasing needs.

The past purchases folder might contain subfolders for each year of their association with your business, like "2019," "2020," and "2021". All of these folders must be in their proper order. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to find documents.

Come Up With Sensible Names for Your Files

The most important idea when naming your files is to know what’s in each file without opening it. Put an important word, date, or place in the name of each file so you can easily recall its contents.

Avoiding complex symbols and characters also helps, especially since some operating systems won't accept titles with certain symbols in them. Be specific when titling your files and use abbreviations wherever possible to make your names more reflective of the contents.

For example, when filing a note from your boss in January, naming it "note.jan12" won't help because you don't know who it's from. By adding their name, you can recall what the letter was about during that time. A better title would be "note.jan12.brad."

File Documents as They Are Uploaded and Survey Them Regularly

Proactive filing is easier than reactive, especially if you’re filing documents while looking for one. Filing a document the moment you upload it or create it is the best time to do it, so save your files in locations with specific intent.

Going through files regularly helps reduce clutter on your desktop. It also opens up space on your hard drive when you delete old files, so back up the important ones and get rid of the rest. Now that you know the best tips for organizing your electronic work documents, it's time to commence with filing.