Everyone wants to develop a way to keep files organized more efficiently, but it’s such a boring task. It’s not difficult, though, once it’s implemented, and you can quickly retrieve any file you need in the future. Here are some tips that will help you to become better organized.
Store documents that are related, together. If you have specific projects going, store all graphics, notes, spreadsheets, reports and letters in one folder. This is instead of having one file for reports, one for letters, etc. If you remember the project, which you usually will, it will be easier to find any type of document or file.
Name your folders and files consistently. Mind Tools advises that you divide your main folder into sub-folders with one for each vendor, etc. You can use shortened names, too. Adding colors or other means to distinguish one project from another is helpful, too.
Don’t save unnecessary documents. You don’t need every scrap of paper and every receipt that you receive. Glance through your receipts and only save something if it’s relevant to save. Keeping too many documents makes clutter inevitable, and makes it harder to find the things you do need.
Separate completed months or years from ongoing projects. Perhaps you would find it easier to grab files you need if you keep ongoing work folders on your desk, and put completed files away. On a weekly or monthly basis, or whatever works for you, clean the unneeded files off your desk so that it’s easier to find what you do need.
Make digital copies with your scanner, of paper documents. Then you can archive or store the originals out of the way. Some documents with original signatures should be kept in the main file, so use your judgment on this one. You don’t want to get rid of any paper documents you could need in the near future, just enough to make extra room.