Organization is key for any sized… organization. That’s particularly true for your computers, files, and data.
Since today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day (yeah, that exists), we thought we’d offer you some methods used by the Zyro team to ensure that our digital workspaces are kept clean, useful, and secure.
Proper order makes sure that our projects run on schedule, we don’t waste time looking for missing files, and everyone knows where to find resources they need.
However you work and whatever you do, these tips will help make you more efficient and productive.
1. Consider using cloud storage
Whether you’re working alone or as part of a big team, it’s always advisable to keep all your files in a cloud storage system like Dropbox, OneDrive, or simply Google Docs.
These storage solutions offer a number of advantages over simply keeping everything on your own computer.
First and foremost, there’s the security of your files and data. Backing everything up to the cloud protects you against damage or theft of your physical hard drive. Even if the computer you’re working on breaks down, you can still access your important files.
If you’re working as part of a team, cloud storage solutions come with the additional benefit of allowing you to work collaboratively over long distances on the same files.
2. Develop a naming convention
You should try to make sure that there is some logic when it comes to your filing system in terms of the names of your files.
You’ll find there are few things more annoying than trying to retrieve a specific file when all the names contain random combinations of numbers and letters, and others don’t have any name at all.
There are a few rules to remember when you’re coming up with naming conventions for your files:
- Don’t use spaces in file names, instead consider underscores (_) or dashes (-)
- Be descriptive to make it easy to find the required files
- Don’t name too many files with the same or similar names
- Try and keep file names as short as possible
- Be specific and logical
3. Keep all your documents in one filing system
The logic of your filing system will only work if you keep all of your files in one place, or at least within a single system.
That’s why we recommend that you store all your files under a single ‘root’ folder.
Each team or project can of course then have sub-folders within this overall, organization-wide folder, but it means that there is no chance of files being totally lost within mystery folders.
4. Think in terms of hierarchy
You might be working for a trendy startup that boasts “flat hierarchies”, but when it comes to your computer filing system, a rigid hierarchy is exactly what you need.
Think of your root folder as sitting at the top of the hierarchy. You might have team folders below that, project folders below them, and then finally a file. This would look something like this:
Organization > Team > Project > File
This is the secret to making files super easy for anyone in the organization to find. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to navigate to the correct folder and locate the required files.
5. Constantly file
This might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but you should always make sure that filing is an ongoing process.
Leaving file and folder organization ‘for later’ means that you’ll end up with files that you forget about or files in the wrong place.
Ways to make ongoing filing easier for you include:
- Creating files in the folder they belong from the very start
- Not closing files on your computer until they are in the correct folder
- Name files according to the folders where you expect to find them
- Spending a moment at the end of each workday making sure each file you worked on is in the correct folder
6. Regularly delete
One massive barrier to carefree file management is having too many unnecessary files clogging up your folders.
That’s why, as well as making sure that you organize your files into the correct places, you also know when to let go and delete them.
It’s worth putting some time aside at regular intervals to remove the files you don’t need any more from your system. This is an ongoing process.
Be careful though! Remember that, if you’re working as part of a team, someone else might need a document, even if you think it’s no longer necessary.
With this in mind, you should put a process in place to make sure that the need for specific files can be reviewed, and unnecessary files can be deleted, without the danger of important information being lost.
7. Stick to your system
When you’re deciding how to organize your files, you need to think carefully. This is not least because, once you start using a specific system, you need to stick with the system you’ve chosen.
If you want to change your ordering system once you’re already in operation, you’ll either end up with a bunch of missing files in confusing locations or else set yourself up with the mammoth task of relocating all of your files into a new system.
Work out your needs first, design your file ordering system around them, and then stick to it.
A website builder without filing
Building a website from scratch involves the need for tons of file management, especially when it comes to making sure code files are in the right place for your website to find them.
If all that organization sounds like too much work, you should check out Zyro website builder; a tool for building websites that requires zero filing.
Zyro is an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that handles all the coding for you and makes design quick and easy.
You don’t need to upload anything other than the images and text you want to use, meaning no file hierarchies or complicated administration.