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.

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Organizing Your E-Files

In many ways, organizing e-files will be similar to organizing paper files. There are also some very important differences in organizing your e-files that don’t apply to paper files.

As with paper, first establish broad categories, and then determine specific details.

To facilitate retrieval of information in the future, create a consistent naming scheme.

Start by taking a good look at your current file system. Determine if there exists a consistent method to store information. Are things easy to find, are there unnecessary duplicates, or are items stored in more than one place? How much time is spent searching for things? If more than a couple of minutes it’s time to re-organize.

Below is a sample system to get started. Businesses may need more or fewer than what is provided here. A well-functioning file system needs to be customized to individual business needs.

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