Cloud file storage has been revolutionary for making files easily accessible by everyone in the office and keeping them in a centralized location. It also makes it much easier to share large files through a link rather than battling an email attachment that is too large to easily send.
But, when everyone shares the same cloud storage, things can get disorganized quickly if there’s no overarching plan in place. And with the pace of file creation in offices, it doesn’t take too long before finding a file can take longer than working with the file itself.
It’s estimated that 2.5 hours per day, about 30% of the workday, is spent just trying to locate information. That means a large part of your team’s productivity could be recaptured through better-organized cloud storage.
Tips to Make Your Files Easier to Find
Use a Consistent Folder Hierarchy
When you have more than one person saving folders and files in shared cloud storage, it can get messy quickly if there is no consistent folder hierarchy. For example, one user may be saving by Product > Department, and another may be doing the opposite (Department > Product). In this case, you can end up with duplicate folders and files.
Decide on the folder hierarchy for at least the 2 top levels of your folder structure. This will keep everyone on the same page and make it easier for people to find the documents they need faster.
Use Tagging on Files or File Names
Tagging files is a way to add keywords that make the file easier to search. We’ve all been there before where we are trying one keyword after another to find a file that we know is stored somewhere in our cloud storage platform.
If your system doesn’t support file tagging, then you can do a manual version of this by using “(keyword, keyword)” at the end of file names.
Keep Your Folder Structure Flat (Just 2-3 Deep)
When users have to go down rabbit holes of nested folders, it takes longer to find documents. Users may end up clicking through several folders only to find that the file they needed isn’t there, and they have to start back at the top level.
Another downside of using too many nested folders is that people will start saving files to the wrong folder to avoid having to do all the work of clicking into a deeply nested folder.
It’s a good rule of thumb to keep your file structure only 2-3 folders deep at most.
Don’t Make a Folder for Fewer Than 10 Files
Do you have folders in your cloud storage that only have one or two files? The more folders you have, the longer it takes users to find the documents they need.
Make a minimum file rule for creating a new folder so you don’t end up with a bunch of folders containing just a few files each. It’s a good idea to not make a new folder for less than 10 files that need to be stored together.
Archive Dormant Files Regularly
Hundreds of new files might be added to cloud storage monthly for a company. Even with an organized file storage system, the more files you have, the longer it takes to search through them all.
To keep your files streamlined, archive older dormant files regularly in an Archives folder that is at the top level. This is for files that you need to retain, but that are not actively being accessed any longer.
Putting them in an archive folder keeps your main file storage decluttered and the archived files are still easy to access.
Do File Cleanup to Delete Unneeded Files Monthly
Another regular maintenance task that you want to have an admin do for your shared cloud storage regularly is to delete unnecessary files monthly.
These would be files like old drafts of a final brochure, duplicates, etc. This helps your file storage stay more manageable and can also prevent you from running out of storage space so you don’t end up having to buy more sooner than you should.
Use Color-Codes for Files
Another trick to make files easier to find is to use folder colors in your cloud storage. This makes a folder topic instantly recognizable without even having to read the name of the folder.
For example, you could color-code “Accounting” folders in green, “Marketing” in purple, “Website Images” in orange, etc.
Example of folder color change capabilities in Google Drive.
Get Help Streamlining Your Cloud Environment for Better Efficiency with TSTS Cloud Managed Services
Twin State Technical Services Cloud Consulting Services can help your Quad Cities area business keep your cloud environment streamlined and productive through multiple solutions.
Contact us today for a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.
References linked to:
cloud managed services, cloud storage