2 Simple Ways File Management Can Go Wrong

Saving a document is one of the simplest tasks you can undertake on a computer. It can also be one of the most frustrating. Especially in a business that relies on accurate file management. When you deal with a lot of digital documents, you do a lot of saving. It may not seem like it, but in business, saving documents means a lot more than ctrl+s.

If your business doesn’t have strict guidelines on how to save files, you could find you have real problems if you receive an eDiscovery request or a call from the regulator. Even though saving is simple, there are two ways it can easily go wrong.

 

File Names

That’s right, it really is this simple. If you don’t have strict file management guidelines, it’s very easy for your file management to get totally out of control. As a basic example, if you were saving a confirmation letter, what file name would you use? Confirmation Letter, or confletter or conflet of ltrconf or even cltr?  And if you need to be able to search by client name, isn’t it important to spell names correctly?

This may seem trivial now but if you’re searching for a specific document in a folder with many different file types, it could be really time consuming. Imagine how much easier it would be if you knew the exact file name, you just choose the folder and type it into the search, no browsing and no trial and error.

 

Folders

Speaking of folders, without a strict file management procedure it’s easy for folders to become overly complex too. Some people will group documents by client, others by document type and some even group them by date. Then there are the people who create a folder for each month, within each folder for each document type, and each of these are saved within a folder for each specific client.

There is nothing wrong with any of these approaches. The problems come when different staff members save different files for the same client and either ignore or don’t follow the folder structure. If this becomes common practice, your file management system will quickly descend into chaos.

Even if your business never has to fulfil a request from the regulator, you may be losing time every day to poor file management. Sifting through random file name and folder choices is no way to spend your day. For businesses to remain efficient, it’s important to realize that file management means a lot more than clicking file and save as.

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