Organise Your Business Files In 10 Easy Steps

Posted on Mar 1, 2021
By Kerry Anne Nelson
4 min read
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Working to organise your business files can be one heck of a job. I wonder if you’re like so many others who find themselves saying, “How did things get so chaotic and where do I even start?” If your company is one of the 74% who is planning to make the permanent shift to more remote work following the impacts of COVID-19 you’ll love these tips! This simple 10-step plan is exactly what you need to get clean, clear remote workplaces rocking and rolling in the cloud.

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“In business, the organisation is an absolute necessity, not an alternative” Larry Burkett

This is about simply deciding what folders you want to use to organise all of the information that you want to keep in the cloud. The most common favourites include Accounting/Finance, Sales/Marketing, Legal/Compliance, Team Care/HR, Administration, Client Care, Site & Equipment, Events, Website, Products/Packages

  • Set Up Archive Folders

Create a dedicated place for files that you don’t need to use every day, but you might want for later use. Here’s a tip, you may want your Archive Folder to echo your main folders. E.g. If you’ve got an Admin folder in your main section, have one in your archives as well.

  • Set Up An Unknown Folder

Put this at the same level as your main and archive folders. No doubt, when you start moving files around, you’ll find some that you’re uncertain about where they belong. Don’t let that spoil your flow and put them straight in the ‘Unknown’ folder. Chances are that you’ll have much less trouble with them after you’ve finished creating the rest of your system.

  • Move Files Into The Main Folders.

As you start to examine your files, there are two questions you should be using to guide your file placement. Firstly, “Is it useful now?” In which case you put it into the main folder or the unknown folder. Secondly, “Could it be useful in the future?” and depending on the answer, it will either be deleted or archived.

  • Create Subfolders As You Go

If it’s immediately obvious that you should use a certain subfolder, then create it as you are moving your files around. If you are uncertain about subfolders, just dump your files in the relevant main folder and then clean up after. By categorising those that you’re confident with, more of those subfolder categories will become obvious, as you progress.

  • Use Your Unknown Folder

As we indicated earlier, this folder is about flow, momentum, and continuous movement. Don’t think too hard about it, if you’re uncertain, give them a temporary home in the unknown folder. More than a few seconds spent deciding where a file should go is too long at this point.

  • Rename Your Files

Now that you’ve put your files away, you can start renaming them. This process will also help you gain clarity over where your unknown files should go. Use consistent naming conventions so that your information always remains accessible and searchable.

  • Be Slow To Save And Quick To Delete

Yes, you read that right. Making a habit of deleting quickly means you’re spending less time on files that you won’t ever use anyway.

  • Leave The Sorting Of Your Archive Until Last

Why? Because those files in your archive are the least important ones. Spend more time organising current information and tools and you and your staff will have a much greater workflow and you’ll get to that point much sooner.

  • Keep Going!

You didn’t take on this job for nothing, so when it gets boring and other demands are being made on your time, remember this. The key to having your team leaders and other staff working online with effectiveness and efficiency is to have their workspace well set up, organised and conducive to high-quality work.

Approach this job of organising your business files at a steady pace and follow the steps above and you’ll soon be wondering why it took you so long to get around to it. Better yet, you’ll have an engaged, activated team who are genuinely keen to do a good job for you.

Kerry Anne Nelson

About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.