Saving files in a central location that you and your coworkers can access streamlines your work process drastically. Use these quick tips to make the most of your company’s shared network folders.
Network Folders Tips
1. Create a Folder Hierarchy
Disorganized network folders are like a retail store with no aisles or departments: complete chaos that will only result in frustration and wasted time. It is critical to have a shared network folder directory that empowers you and your colleagues to access necessary files without having to spend too much time searching for them.
There is no one perfect way to organize the folders on your company network, but best practices often suggest that your folder hierarchy follows one of the following models:
Within those folders, you will also have to create appropriate subfolders based on dates and projects. Keep the hierarchy consistent across the entire network to ensure easy accessibility.
2. Use a Consistent Naming Convention
Again, the best way to name your files and folders depends on the unique nuances of your company and its operations.
However, folder names that are short, clear and descriptive make it easy for you and your colleagues to identify what’s contained in each file and folder. Consider the following best practices:
- Keywords: including words like “invoice” or “meeting notes” in file names makes your network more easily searchable
- Sequences: for files and folders that are part of a sequence, place numbers in their names (e.g., “01 Onboarding Process, 02 Client Correspondence” etc.)
- Dates: use a format like YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD to keep dated items in chronological order
The key is to remain consistent so you and your coworkers can search the network to find and share what you’re looking for.
3. Make Templates
Creating empty template folder structures that can be copied and pasted when you onboard a new client, add new employees/departments or begin new projects can be a huge time saver.
4. Rely on Shortcuts
Imagine you work in the marketing department of your company, and you’re constantly accessing files buried deep within the marketing folder. A best practice is to right-click the folders or files you use most often and choose Create shortcut. Drag the shortcut to your desktop for easy access.
5. Adjust Routinely
No matter how strict of a hierarchy your network folders are sorted into, stray files are inevitable. Taking some time each month to reorganize your folders and files may not be the most exciting task, but it’s an investment that will certainly pay off because of the sheer amount of time it saves.
What are some additional tips for organizing network folders that have worked at your company?