7 Pro Tips to Keep Your Cloud ^0 PC Files More Organized

When you have disorganized file storage, it can drag down your work in multiple ways. It takes more time to locate files, files can get accidentally deleted, and file backups can take longer than necessary because old files aren’t cleaned out.

Saving and searching for files is something most people do several times per day, which is why unorganized file storage in the cloud or on your PC hard drive can cost you valuable time.

It’s estimated that one whole day each workweek (or about 19.8% of working time) is spent by employees just looking for the information they need to accomplish their tasks.

If you’ve ever tried and failed to find a file that you knew was there, trying keyword after keyword to find it, or have been frustrated with your team all using different filing logic in shared cloud storage, these file organization tips below can help!

How to Keep Digital Files Easier to Find

Use Descriptive File Names

The file name is key when you need to find a file later. Make sure to use descriptive names that use keywords that you would use to look for that file months from now.

If your system has a tagging feature, this is a great way to add keywords to a file without editing the name. But if it doesn’t, you can make your own tag by using parenthesis at the end of the name. Such as, “2022 Marketing Report (sales, leads)”

Descriptive file names also help greatly in a shared cloud storage situation. You want the file name to be enough for someone to get an idea of the contents inside the document without having to open it.

Create a Standard Folder Hierarchy, and Stick to It

Consistent folder hierarchy is vital if you want files to be easy to locate. Use the same level 1 and level 2 naming conventions, and in a shared storage situation, have everyone do the same.

For example, if the top-level is always “Department,” then ensure that there are no top-level folders that are “Customer Account.” If the two top levels stay the same, it makes files easier for everyone to find and you avoid problems with duplicate folders being created.

Require 10 Documents Before Creating a Folder

When you have too many folders to look through, it takes longer to find a document. You should not have folders that contain just one or two files. When you do that, you make it harder to locate all your files.

Create a policy that a new folder is only created if there are at least 10 items that need to be filed together and identified separately from files in another folder.

This will keep your number of folders from getting unmanageable. 

Don’t Add Too Many Folder Levels

Another rule of thumb for good file organization is to keep your folder structure as flat as possible. This means you shouldn’t nest too many folders inside each other.

Having to click through a rabbit hole of folders, only to find the file you wanted isn’t there, takes up precious time, and is frustrating.

Keep folder levels to 2-3 folders deep at maximum to avoid problems with both finding and storing files.

Differentiate Folders Using Icons or Colors

Providing a visual differentiator on folders can reduce the time it takes to locate a document. If folders use either a different icon or a different color, you can easily identify the content subject without reading all the folder names.

An example would be to use a different color or icon to note different departments, or to separate internal files from external company files.

Google Drive’s Folder Color Option

Resist Saving to Desktop or Downloads

You’re in a hurry and want to just be able to grab a downloaded file to add to a document quickly, so you save that file to your desktop. This is something just about everyone is guilty of, but it’s also something that can make files harder to find over time.

Saving to general folders like Downloads or your desktop can cause you to end up with multiple unfiled documents.

It’s best to take those few additional seconds while saving or creating a file to store it in the right place the first time.

Do File Maintenance & Cleanup at Least Once a Month

The more files added to a hard drive or cloud storage system, the harder it becomes to find those files because there are more to search through.

At least once per month do cleanup on your files to keep them from building up and becoming unmanageable. When older or unneeded files are in the way, it takes longer to get to the files you actively use each week.

During file cleanup do the following:

  • Refile any documents not filed correctly (e.g., saved on the desktop)
  • Delete any unnecessary files (e.g., old draft copies of documents)
  • Archive any files that aren’t used regularly but need to be retained

Improve Your Cloud Storage & Backup Systems with Help from Onsite Techs

Onsite Techs of Rhode Island can work with your business to help you put an organized and efficient cloud environment in place that keeps all files easily accessible and secure.  

Contact us today to schedule a consultation at 401-773-7766 or book a video call now.