Cloud file storage has revolutionized how we manage documents. No more need for emailing files back and forth; no more worrying who has the latest copy.
Between 2015 and 2022, the percentage of corporate data stored in cloud storage doubled - from 30% to 60%. Most organizations utilize some form of cloud storage service; OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox are some of the most popular options.
Cloud storage can be just as messy as your computer's hard disk. Files may get saved in the wrong places or duplicate folders may form. When employees share one cloud space, organizing files efficiently becomes even more challenging.
Disorganized cloud storage systems can lead to issues. It becomes harder to locate files and you may end up spending a considerable amount of time looking for documents - with estimates suggesting that 50% office workers spend more hours searching than actually working.
Are you facing cloud storage problems in your office? Is it becoming harder to locate important information? These tips can help save time and organize your cloud storage more effectively.
Utilize a Universal Folder Naming Structure
Someone might name a folder after their client. Another person might choose the industry. With different folder naming conventions, it becomes harder for everyone to locate what they need quickly - often leading to duplicate folders being created for similar items. This also leads to confusion when trying to locate information in multiple places at once.
A common folder naming system should be employed that everyone can understand. The hierarchy of folders should be clearly defined, along with their names for convenience. For instance, creating "departments" in an outer folder and nesting "projects" within it makes sense.
Everyone will find it simpler if they use the same naming system. Doing so helps minimize duplicate folders.
Maintain a File Structure of 2 to 3 Folders Deep
It can be challenging to locate files if there are too many folders. It feels like you need to click through each rabbit hole, and many people become discouraged from saving files if they have to access multiple locations at once. To make things easier, maintain two to three folders deep within your file system.
Avoid having to deal with this issue by keeping your file structure at two to three levels deep. Doing so makes it simpler to locate files and makes cloud storage more useful.
Do not create folders for fewer than 10 files
It takes more time to locate a document when there are numerous folders to navigate. When employees create folders, they often don't know where they should go; avoid this problem by setting an upper limit on folder size.
Cloud storage should have a rule that limits folder creation to no more than 10 files, helping prevent the accumulation of folders with few contents. Furthermore, you should designate someone as the storage administrator; if someone needs assistance determining where a file should go, this person can act as the go-between.
"Take Time To Save It Right"
If files are saved to a common folder, storage can become disorganized quickly. We often make the mistake of saving files to an unspecific location like our desktop on computers and then promising ourselves that we will go back and move them where they belong. But doing so only delays file organization.
This problem is compounded when multiple people share the same cloud storage space. Unorganized files quickly pile up, making it difficult for individuals to locate what they need.
Staff should adopt the motto, "Take Your Time to Save it Right", meaning they should spend a few extra seconds searching for the appropriate file before saving it. Doing this prevents things from becoming overwhelming and allows everyone to easily follow a file structure of only two or three folders.
For faster identification, utilize color or folder tags
Many cloud file systems allow color tagging to label folders so they are instantly recognizable. This reduces time spent searching for and storing files.
You could, for example, color all sales-related folders green. Additionally, marketing folders could be highlighted orange. When your brain perceives a color, it connects faster than reading text alone.
Declutter and Archive Regularly
Nowadays, files are created at an alarmingly fast rate. Searching through files stored online becomes much more challenging, even if your storage system is organized well. Even if you keep everything organized properly, searching through all those documents can still prove elusive.
Maintaining older files makes it easier to locate them if you keep them organized. This can be accomplished through regular decluttering and archiving, with admins deleting unnecessary documents at least once each month - including duplicates and old drafts of documents.
Also, create an archive system that stores all older files in one large folder. This ensures that files remain off the main path even if they aren't being used.
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