The Importance of a Good File Management System

The Importance of a Good File Management System

The situation is all too familiar — you know the file you need, if only you could find it! It’s in your email inbox, or maybe on your desktop, or maybe someone else has a more recent version. Time is wasted unnecessarily when people have a hard time finding their files, documentation, or other important information. They’re then faced with a roadblock that’s entirely avoidable.

Without an intentional, easy-to-navigate system in place, workers can’t find documents or folders because the information is likely disorganized or isn’t easily accessible. Their productivity will be slowed down and something as simple as finding the right files will become an unnecessary stressor in their workday. So how can we avoid doing deep dives into unknown folders? Well, it doesn’t involve plumbing the depths of inboxes or shared drives.

The answer is a file management system. It’s a fairly straightforward concept; a file management system organizes and structures your information so it can be readily reached when it’s needed.

What are the benefits of a file management system?

When left to their own devices, each worker will likely organize their documents and files in their own way — some may be similar to each other, while others may be wildly unique. But when a worker has to find a file in their team member’s system, it can be confusing and hard to navigate. Add in external partners like clients or freelancers and the problem can get worse. That’s where a file management system comes in.

A good file management system will standardize the organization of information so everyone is familiar with the structure and location of documents. It should also make the information more accessible so it can be used more easily. With an intuitive structure, new team members will be able to pick up on how things are done more quickly and anyone can find important details without needing to bother another team member.

File management makes asynchronous work easier

For asynchronous work, which doesn’t rely on real-time response, a file management system can help keep your team on the same page. With this working style, a team member may log on at 6 am while another starts work at noon. Since asynchronous work is flexible and can be tailored to each worker, communication and organization are two key elements to successful asynchronous work.

A file management system provides structure and an intuitive arrangement for documentation. You won’t need to wait for a coworker to log on to get information because, if they’re using the file management system correctly, the information will be included in the documentation and easy for you to retrieve and use.

Sharing is caring

File management systems also make information more shareable, since it provides a logical grouping of folders and files that people outside your organization — like clients and freelancers — will find more navigable. In today’s interconnected world, it shouldn’t be a hassle to share and make revisions to files.

File management systems make it easier to loop key stakeholders in. Since many of these systems are cloud-based, any invited person can review and revise files wherever they can connect to the internet. Using the cloud also means that you won’t need to track so many different versions of the same file.

Since many file management systems sync immediately, they ensure that you’re always looking at the most up-to-date version. When external partners are more involved in the review and editing of files, the flow of communication is better and you can be confident that you’re delivering a better product.

Common file management systems

There are a bunch of popular file management systems on the market your team can use. Here is a small breakdown of the most popular options available.

Google Drive

Google Drive is readily available to just about anyone with internet access. With it, you can upload documents to your Drive or create them. Documents, files, and folders are stored in the cloud, making them more readily available.

When you give team members or clients access to files, you can determine whether they’ll just be able to view the file (good for clients or final drafts) or if you want to let them make edits to the file. This can ensure that only the appropriate people are making changes to documents.

Dropbox

Like Google Drive, Dropbox provides a centralized file management system that’s cloud-based. You can customize the organization structure and file hierarchy so it’s tailored to your team’s needs and workflows. With these features, you can ensure that file organization is easy to understand. In addition, because it’s cloud-based, any edits you make to a document will be synced so you won’t have to navigate and track different versions.

OneDrive

With Microsoft’s OneDrive, workers can access files anywhere. Since it is also a cloud-based file management system (hmm, notice a pattern?) OneDrive enables people to edit, share and collaborate more easily.

Rock

Rock also features a file management system that enables teams to store simple files. With free cloud storage integrations, team members, clients, and partners can easily access folders and other stored files. You can also link Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive folders to your shared Rock spaces, so information is accessible to your team and external partners.

Streamline your file and folder storage

Introducing a file management system can make your team’s everyday lives easier and less stressful. If you’ve already got a system in place, pat yourself on the back but remember that simply having a file management system in place isn’t enough. It should be optimized to work for you and your team, aligning with your workflows and always remaining intuitive.

With a file management system, you can empower your team by giving them convenient access to the information they need. With the right information at their fingertips, they can boost their productivity and streamline their work. Since they can get relevant documents and folders whenever they need to, your team can eliminate roadblocks and extra steps from the process.