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.”


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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