Top 5 Errors with File Management and How to Avoid Them

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With the move to remote working last year, many companies realized the value of good file management.

After all, bad file management causes problems across teams. It makes collaboration difficult if workers can’t find the files they need.

There are also 95 common file types recognized by Windows alone. Handling so many types of files also makes file management a critical task.

Keen to avoid errors with file management? We’ve gathered the top five mistakes and how to fix them.

  1. Keeping Documents Across Different Platforms

The location of files can make them harder to manage. For example, some people might store some documents in the cloud, with others on a local device.

You can end up duplicating files this way, which leads to version control errors. It should be easy to find the most up-to-date version of a file.

That’s why managing files online can be much easier. Everyone accesses the same folders so you know they’re using the same files. This is just one of the benefits of the cloud for file management.

Assign access permissions to folders so you can revoke them if an employee leaves. This is a great way to track who can access your files.

  1. Not Using Folders Within Folders

Don’t try to store all of your files within a single folder. This makes it hard to find files. Instead, create separate folders inside your root folder. Give each folder a logical name to make searching easier.

Avoid acronyms and use a simple name, like ‘Clients’ for client correspondence. Use sub-folders inside those for even more file organization. You might even have folders organized by types of files.

This approach also means you can back up the entire root folder. You don’t need to search several locations to find everything you want to archive.

  1. Not Archiving Old, Unnecessary Files

Digital storage gets just as cluttered as physical filing cabinets. There will come a point where you have files you don’t need anymore.

Back them up so they’re accessible, and archive them elsewhere. That might be to a separate server or specific hard drive.

You may need to convert file formats in case legacy software stops being supported. If so, choose a ubiquitous format for the new version. For example, to export older files as a PDF print C# offers a way to automate the process.

  1. Using Random File Names

What happens if employees leave? If their file naming formula makes no sense to their replacement, they’ll struggle to find anything.

Use descriptive names for files so you know what the file is before you open it. This also makes it easier to run a search.

Need to keep files in chronological order? Use the date in reverse at the start of the file name. For example, a photo from May 3, 2021, could be listed 2021-03-05.

  1. Not Backing Up Files on a Regular Basis

Businesses face common cyber threats every day, including malware and ransomware.

You can even lose files through more ‘old-fashioned’ means. Your computer might crash, or you might suffer a fire or flood.

Keeping a backup is a great way to protect against file loss, whatever the reason. You always have a copy to return to.

Back up files onto a detachable hard drive and a cloud storage solution so you have an off-site backup. Managed solutions can help with backing up files.

Don’t Make These Errors With File Management

These are all basic errors with file management that don’t need to be made. Stick to logical file names and folder structures. Make sure everyone uses the same naming formula.

Back up files and archive those you no longer need. This saves on digital storage and makes finding files much easier.

Looking for more help with the tech side of your business? Check out our technology articles for more tips.

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