Do you have a system in place for getting your documents organised? It isn’t a sexy subject, but it is an essential one. All businesses have them, and it’s a term that encompasses everything – from client notes through to invoices.
Whether you’re handling physical or digital documents, they all need to be organised. Organise them well, and you’ll increase your productivity and efficiency whilst minimising wasted time and general office clutter.
But if you’ve ever wondered how to get your documents organised, don’t worry! Here are the top 10 tips you need to know to get your paperwork tidy and in a logical system.
#1: Use the right system
If you want to get your documents organised, you need to use the right storage system. I’d recommend you check out OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud hosting platform, and also Google’s file storage system – Google Drive.
#2: Keep all documents in one place
When you use the right system, it also makes it easier for you to keep all your documents in one place. This not only keeps things organised, but it also helps cut down time spent hunting down lost files.
#3: Have a way to store random notes and ideas
Getting documents organised isn’t just something reserved for your completed documents; it’s a system you need to implement for all of your documents. One area that often gets overlooked is that of notes and ideas. These original and random items need a designated storage system, too – so you can find them and transfer them to your primary file storage system when you’re ready to expand on them. Trello and Evernote are both perfect solutions for this.
#4: Have a logical folder hierarchy
Keep your documents organised within your storage system too. This means using a logical folder hierarchy for all of your files. For example, set up a folder for each client within your main work folder and have a designated folder (and sub-folders) for all your personal files and documents.
#5: Use a logical naming process
Following on from the hierarchy, also use a logical and tidy naming process. Avoid empty spaces and using punctuation, and use capitals to differentiate between new words. Personally, I tend to start with YYYYMMDD then the file name.
#6: File as you go
Get into the habit of filing as you go. It will help save you time and reduces the need to designate a weekly admin slot for tidying things away!
#7: Tidy old files regularly
Go through and tidy your old files regularly. Look at what you can archive to save disc space on your drives. Also, ensure you’re following GDPR and deleting files that are no longer needed.
#8: Edit, don’t redo
If you want to stay organised, don’t have multiple copies of the same file! Ensure you’re always editing a file, not creating a duplicate or restarting from scratch.
#9: Track changes
And if you want to keep track of changes – track them. Use inbuilt functionality within your documents to track or annotate any alterations.
#10: Back up everything!
Finally, ensure you’re backing up everything. Get into the habit of making this part of your daily or weekly routine. And make sure you include website pages/copy with this, too – as they’re often forgotten about when it comes to keeping documentation organised.
If you’re looking to outsource your document organisation, why not book a call? As your Admin Consultant, I can take the lead on a wide range of projects, including the day-to-day activities in your office and ensuring you’re using the right systems and processes. You can find out more about working with an Admin Consultant here.