Cloud file storage has revolutionized the way we handle documents. Gone are the days of wondering which person in the office has the most recent copy of a document; no more having to email files back and forth. Now keeping the cloud free of clutter has become more important. Here’s more on navigating the cloud and cloud organization tips.
The percentage of worldwide corporate data stored in the cloud doubled between 2015 and 2022, increasing from 30 percent to 60 percent. Most major organizations use cloud storage of some type to assist in their document organizational needs. Some of the most popular services include Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and others.
However, cloud storage can also get messy, just like the storage on your computer’s hard drive. Duplicate folders get created, and files get saved in the wrong place. Sometimes it’s hard to keep things organized when employees are sharing the same cloud space.
In reality, storage can be difficult to keep efficient.
Disorganized cloud storage systems lead to problems down the road, including spending a lot of extra time finding needed documents as well as having a hard time finding files in general. It’s estimated that 50 percent of office workers spend more time looking for files than they do working.
Has your office been suffering from messy cloud storage? Does it seem to get harder and harder to find what you need? The helpful tips below include several ways to tidy up shared cloud storage spaces and save time.
1. Declutter and Archive Regularly
These days, files get created at a dizzying pace. The fact of the matter is the more files you add to a cloud storage system, the harder it is to sort through to find what you need. This problem rings true even if the file storage is well-organized.
To solve this problem, keep older files from making it harder to find new ones. You can do this by archiving and decluttering regularly. This process involves having an admin go through and delete any unnecessary files once per month, e.g., duplicate files or old draft versions of a document.
Another step you can take is to have an archiving system in place that puts all older files in one big archive folder. Doing so keeps files that aren’t actively used any longer out of the main file path.
2. Keep File Structure Only Two or Three Folders Deep
This is one of the best great cloud organization tips: When you have too many folders nested, it can take much longer than necessary to find a file. You feel like you must click down one rabbit hole after another. When people need to go through multiple folders, it discourages them from saving a file in the right place.
You can avoid this issue by keeping your file structure only two to three folders deep, maximum. This makes files easier to find and keeps your cloud storage more usable.
3. Use a Universal Folder Naming Structure
One person in an office might choose to name a folder by client name. Another person might use the type of industry or the date.
When people use different naming structures for folders, it makes organizing the cloud more difficult. It also leads to the creation of duplicate folders for the same thing.
Has this problem ever happened to you? Here’s a remedy:
Use a universal folder naming structure that everyone follows. Map out the hierarchy of folders and how to name each item. For example, you might have “departments” as an outer folder and nest “projects” inside.
With everyone on the same page using the same naming system, it will not only be easier for coworkers to find things, but you also reduce the risk of having duplicate folders.
4. Promote the Slogan “Take Time to Save It Right”
File storage can get disorganized fast when people save files to a general folder. We’re all guilty from time to time of saving to a general folder or location, like the desktop on a PC. We tell ourselves that we’ll go back at some point and move the file where it should be.
This issue multiplies when you have lots of people sharing the same cloud storage space. Files that aren’t where they belong tend to stack up fast. This makes the general location cluttered, making it more difficult for everyone to find things.
A great way to increase workplace awareness about this issue is to promote the slogan “take time to save it right” among the staff. Encourage coworkers to take the extra few seconds to navigate to where the file should be to save it before clicking the “save” button. This keeps files from getting unmanageable.
Remember tip #2? If you use a file structure that’s only two or three folders deep, then this should be easier for everyone to abide by.
5. Use Folder Tags or Colors for Easier Recognition
Many cloud file systems allow you to use color tagging on folders. Using this underutilized organizational method can make a folder or group of folders instantly recognizable, reducing the time it takes to find and store files.
For example, you could designate all folders dealing with sales as the color green. Folders for marketing and marketing-related material could be orange, and so on. Scientifically speaking, the brain can make the connection to a topic faster when you look at color than when reading through a piece of text.
6. Don’t Create Folders for Fewer Than 10 Files
This tip connects with tips #2 and #4. The more folders people have to click into to find a document, the more time it takes to access it. Folders can quickly add up as employees create them, not knowing where a file should go.
Implement a rule for your cloud storage that restricts folder creation to 10 files or more. Doing so avoids the problem of having tons of folders with less than a handful of files in them.
Another step you can take is to have someone act as a storage administrator. This person can be the go-to when someone asks if they’re not sure where to store a file.
Going Beyond Cloud Organization Tips
Is your cloud storage doing what you need it to do? Is there a disconnection between your cloud storage and your other apps? We can help. Reach out to us or book a quick consultation.
2022 Cyber Security Essentials Checklist
See where your business stands with these 18 critical cyber security controls established by the Center of Internet Security (CIS). Plus see the types of attacks most likely to impact your business.