Approximately 50% of all corporate data worldwide is stored in the cloud. Cloud storage is a convenient way to share files and ensure they’re accessible from anywhere.
Storing files in the cloud is also a business continuity best practice because it keeps files safe in the event of a hard drive crash or natural disaster.
But shared file storage can become disorganized pretty quickly because you have different people storing files in the same environment. Without a plan that’s communicated to everyone, it can get more difficult to find files as time goes by.
In a study of 1,000 U.S. employees across multiple industries, 49% stated that they had trouble locating documents, and it was found that as much as 30% of staff time can be wasted just trying to find information.
When cloud storage files aren’t kept organized, it’s not just an annoyance, it hurts company productivity.
Has your company’s cloud storage gotten out of hand? We’ve got some tips below to help you stay better organized so everyone can find what they need faster.
Pro Tips for Keeping Your Cloud-Stored Files Easy to Find
Define a Strategic Plan for Folder Structure
Not everyone is going to naturally use the same type of hierarchy when storing files. One person might think it’s logical to save files by department, and another thinks that by client or project makes sense.
It’s important to define a strategic plan for your folder structure that employees will know to follow. For example, define your level 1 folders (e.g., Department, Client), then your level 2 folders (e.g., assets, archive, month, etc.). You want to have everyone on the same page, so the structure stays intact, which makes locating files easier for everyone.
Also, keep in mind how people are to organize a draft version or a final version of a file or where archive folders will be, and what will be the archive criteria.
Don’t Go Too Many Folders Deep
When coming up with the company’s master file structure, keep in mind that the deeper files are tucked into nested folders, the more work that has to be done to open or find them.
It’s a good idea to keep file nesting to about 2-3 folders deep. This makes it easier to find files and people aren’t having to go down “folder rabbit holes” daily and click multiple times just to get to their work files.
File Things in the Right Place the First Time
It’s easy to just save things wherever you last opened a file, thinking that you’ll move that file later when you have time. But this can easily cause cloud storage to get disorganized and messy.
Instead of just saving to a folder of convenience at the moment, take a few extra seconds to save files in the right place the first time. It will take longer to go back later and try to remember where the file was and then move it to the right place, especially if a busy day turns into a busy week.
Use Descriptive File Names
Without the file search feature in cloud storage, we’d all be spending a lot more time looking for files. But for the search feature to be helpful, the files need to be given file names that properly describe the contents.
Make sure to use names that will properly describe the file. If you want to put an additional keyword in a file name, but aren’t sure where, try using (keyword) at the end of the file name, for example, “ABC Marketing and Sales Overview (PPT plan)”
Keep to a 10 File per Folder Minimum
Having too many folders to choose from is another thing that makes it take longer to find files. Users may have to sift through several different folder names just to figure out where a particular file should be.
It’s a good rule of thumb to only create a new folder if there are a minimum of 10 files that need to be grouped uniquely. If you have less than 10, then consider putting those files into an existing folder instead.
Archive Older Files Regularly
One thing that increases the time to find cloud storage files is when older files and folders build up that are no longer in active use. People end up having to sort past them to find the active files and folders they’re looking for.
Have a file administrator that checks through the cloud storage regularly (either monthly or quarterly, depending on the size of your company). They should archive files and folders that are no longer in use in an “Archive” folder.
This keeps them out of everyone’s way and keeps your cloud storage tidy and efficient.
Get Help With Solutions to Keep Your Files Secure & Organized
Pro Tech Guy can help your Framingham or Natick business with file storage and backup solutions that will keep your data secure and easy to find when you need it.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.