Once you have taken the time to go paperless, you’ll want to make sure to have a solid folder structure in place for all of your digital files. This can be utilized in both your home and business. By having a folder structure in place, it will be so much easier to find the documents you need and keep up with filing any new ones that come in.
Below are some key factors to remember when creating or updating an organized digital folder structure for your home or business:
Start With One Master File – It is best to set up your file structure within one master folder. This will help make backing up and moving stored files easier.
File/Folder Naming – When naming your files, it is a good idea to think of what/how is the best way to tell a “story” of what happened so that it is easy to understand the order and setup of the structure. Use can use a combination of the following filing systems:
- Alphabetical: Only go by the title of the document, the date doesn’t matter. This is good for resource files.
- Chronological: This is a great way to show a timeline of when things happened or when they were filed. It is good for correspondence, agendas, and meetings. When titling your documents, always put the date first and format as “year-month-day” (i.e. 2017-02-10 Title of Doc).
- Numerical: This method is good for version control. Change the number after the period for an updated version of the same document (i.e. 001.1 Service Agreement, 001.2 Service Agreement).
Subfolders – When a folder has more than 30 documents in it or over a screen view length, consider sub categorizing the folder contents to make it easier to find what you are looking for. For example, with a file for “Staff Meetings”, make subfolders by year and then store chronologically.