We all know how it goes. You get busy and as your workload piles up, so do your client folders. You’d almost be forgiven for having a hard time locating a specific folder. Sometimes, however, we don’t have time to search through our desktop to find something specific for a client. Here are 5 ways to keep your digital files organized to save everyone’s time.
#1: Create a Folder System that Works for You
You can organize your folders by client, month, type, or whatever works best for the job, but remember to keep things consistent. Once you’ve decided on a structure, stick to it. Personally, I’ve found organizing files by client to be the most effective method.
Within these folders, create subfolders for specific tasks. For example, “Images” could be one while “Content” could be another.
#2: Use a File Name Prefix to Make Finding Client Files Easier
If you’re working on a client for extended periods of time, it can be a huge help to establish a short prefix to attach to their files. For example, if you are working on a Brand & Mortar project, you could use “BM.” This way, when you need to find a file, you can simply search “BM” and all the appropriate client files should appear as results.
#3: Include Dates as a Suffix in File Names
Sometimes, you will be asked to find a file you worked on months ago. In this situation, it can be easier to find files by searching for the last date the file was updated. Including a small suffix on your file names will make this process faster. You could use “12/25/2017” to represent Christmas. In some cases, it may not be necessary to include the day. In lieu of the complete date, using just the month and year, such as “Dec ’17” will be just as useful.
#4: Include Initials in Collaborative Files
In workplace environments, multiple people often collaborate on single files. Keeping track of the most recent edition can be difficult. Including the initials of the latest person to edit the file, in addition to the date, can help in making this process easier for the other collaborators.
#5: Back Up Everything
There is nothing worse than losing all your files. You should always backup all of your work to a cloud-based storage system or an external drive. This seems self-explanatory, but you would be surprised how many people forget this simple step and find themselves without any of their files.
Practicing these simple organizational steps will save you time and spare you from headache and heartache, giving you the opportunity to work on other projects, collaborate with new people, and stay on top of your work.