Some people are born with excellent organizational skills. Nowadays, it’s easy to tell by looking at a person’s desktop. We’ve all seen desktops ridden with unorganized folders, files, and pictures. Digital file organization sounds easy. However, with time it becomes a tedious process requiring a system.
If you’re looking for tips on managing offline documents, here’s an article with valuable information. However, many people use computers to store documents. Businesses may find it nearly impossible to function without them. Organizing personal information might take some knowledge, but companies keep hundreds of thousands of files. Therefore, learning how to manage your business files safely and comfortably is crucial. But…
Why is File Management Important?
Before we jump into tips and tricks, let’s consider why managing business files is essential.
Firstly, there’s an issue of efficiency. Let’s say you make a living organizing wedding. Last minute the lucky couple informs about a change in the guest list and requires modification of the food menu. You can make the changes with a few clicks if you know where you stored the guest list and the menu. However, if you simply drop everything in one folder with files from other weddings, it will take a while to find.
At the same time, file management relates to security. Digital data is a valuable commodity that attracts many cybercriminals. The renowned Marriott hotel is a perfect example. The hotel giant didn’t invest enough in securing its clients’ files and got a massive blow to its reputation.
You will benefit twice by learning to organize files safely. It will make your job easier and minimize the risk of losing sensitive business data. Let’s dive in!
How to Secure Your Business Data
Established brands can hire a dedicated cybersecurity expert to manage their files. However, if you have a tight budget, there are more affordable ways to protect your confidential information.
Firstly, you must ensure confidential information is stored in an encrypted form. It includes personally identifiable information (PII), client information, financial reports, research and development data, and development and intellectual property reports. Losing any of this could ruin the business. For example, the European General Data Protection Regulation requires companies to “implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to secure personal data.” Businesses are held accountable if failing to do so.
Encryption is a universal method to secure data at rest. If you use a Windows device, you can follow these instructions to turn on BitLocker storage encryption. However, if you have some additional funds, we recommend choosing paid storage encryption software developed by cybersecurity professionals.
Another crucial step is developing healthy password management habits. Whether you’re storing business files locally or using a Cloud, it’s best to hide the most important ones behind a password. However, most businesses handle dozens of passwords. It’s nearly impossible to have tons of unique and complex passwords and remember them by heart.
Investing in a well-developed business password manager is advisable. This software will provide you with an encrypted vault to store any number of passwords. Furthermore, you will get a password generator that will create strong passwords. Use it to secure online Cloud accounts, employee emails, and other parts of your business digital network structure.
How to Organize Files Comfortably
Now that we have file security figured out, let’s discuss the comfort. Cybersecurity experts outline that sacrificing security for convenience is a common mistake. However, you can achieve both.
Firstly, identify files that you need constant access to. These files should be kept in a secure Cloud. This way, you can access them wherever you are and on whatever device you use. When picking Cloud service, make sure they accept files in an encrypted format. You can use previously discussed storage encryption software to upload them safely. And use a password manager to protect your Cloud account.
For a general business digital file management system, we suggest following these steps:
- Create yearly folders, such as “2022”, “2021”, etc;
- Create a folder called “_Inbox”. Store any files you are actively working on in this folder. Important files not frequently used go into the “2022” folder. And all older information goes to the previous year’s folders accordingly;
- Create subfolders in yearly folders, such as “Pictures”, “Customer order”, “Invoices”, and whatever else you need;
- Apply the same logic for each yearly folder;
- Check for file duplicates and unnecessary files. It’s recommended to delete useless files instead of keeping them. Move the rest to appropriate folders;
- Select the folders you are actively using, encrypt them, and upload them to Cloud.
It may sound straightforward, but you will notice the process gets more complex the more files you have. In time, you will develop a personalized system for comfortable file access. But following outlined logic will help you make the first steps.