Maintaining Your E-Files

Last month, we discussed organizing your e-files, including creating a system for easy information retrieval.

To help simplify retrieval and minimize time waste, invest the time to set up systems and protocol for file maintenance and back-up. Creating a standard system for all members of your team will save time in the long run. In order to maintain your e-files, you will need a few tools.

Search Tools: A search tool is software which is used to locate a specific parameter: a word, phrase or filename. Search tools are generally included in the operating system.

Consistent & Specific Naming Conventions: Search tools are most useful when nomenclature and clear file naming conventions are used. In order to find something, it’s necessary to know how it is categorized. Using a consistent naming system enables consistent classification of files and easier search results.

Store Like with Like: A key organizing principle when working with physical files, this concept also lends itself to e-files. Files stored with those most like them are easier to categorize, easier to find, and lend themselves to an organized file tree.

On-site storage vs. Cloud storage:  On location services include iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and other enterprise solutions.

According to Backblaze, services like iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive are “primarily designed for syncing files and are not a true backup solution. One of the primary reasons that synchronizing files is not a good backup system is that when you delete a file in one place, it will be deleted at all of them. If that deletion was an accident, you have just multiplied a mistake! Additionally, most syncing and sharing services go back to the “manual” approach of backup, and put the onus on users to copy their important files in to the syncing service.”

BACKBLAZE.COM

Back-up Options Include:

  • A cloud-based solution such as Carbonite, Crashplan, BackBlaze, or Shadow Protect.
  • An external hard drive, to back up your most important files.
  • A Clone of your hard drive, updated nightly, to serve as an emergency replacement.
  • A Remote hard drive on the same network to have in case disaster strikes your hard drive.
  • An Online storage service like Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Rackspace, or Azure.

Maintenance and Clean-up:

  • Maintaining e-files is similar to maintaining paper files. Like paper files, if you have too many items, you’ll run out of space.
  • In order to maintain e-files, schedule a time to remove duplicates and organize what’s left. Then place the remaining e-files into discrete file folders. Use subfolders as needed.
  • Folders should be distinct enough to be unique but not so distinct as to be repetitive or lose all meaning. Consider creating subfolders when the number of items in a particular folder exceeds 50 and involves different topics. Prior to creation, each subfolder should have at least 5 items designated for it.

Need help organizing or maintaining your e-files? Contact Lisa today to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

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