Is it time to do some digital spring cleaning? File organization may not be a very exciting topic, but it’s a vital part of maximizing your efficiency on a computer, as well as in verifying your security. If you’re not as organized as you think you could be, give these tips a try.

Be honest, what’s the state of your computer desktop?

A few clearly labeled folders? Or a mess of files, many of which are duplicates, some of which you haven’t had use for in months?

If you fall into the latter group, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Keeping your home organized, or even just making your bed every day often escapes most people’s to-do lists.

However, digital file organization is very important. Consider these key mistakes that many users make in file organization (and their consequences):

  • No Centralized Storage: Some files are on the desktop, some are five subfolders deep, some are in Dropbox, and some are on Google Drive. If you’ve ever gone hunting for that one file you need, but can’t find it, this is likely your problem.
  • Everything’s On The Desktop: As mentioned above, this is a key problem. When the desktop is so covered with files that you can’t see the picture behind it, you likely don’t have a clear idea of where everything is. This leads to editing out of date versions of the same file or having to start over because you can’t find something.

As you can see, file organization plays a key role in efficiency – so if your data’s a mess, how can you best clean it all up?

3 Tips For Digital File Organization

  1. Centralize Your Data In A Secure Cloud
    If you’re going to centralize all your data in one place (and you should), where better than the cloud?

    This allows you to access any and all files from any device. No matter whether you’re on vacation or at the home office, you won’t be limited to what you have stored locally on your phone, personal laptop, or work computer. Everything you need is available from one place.

    Make sure you don’t overlook security in this regard – there are endless cloud options available to you right now, but some are safer than others. Be sure to choose one with a good track record in security, and with a business plan that suits your business purposes.

  2. Back Up Your Files
    A key part of organization is making sure that you’re protected against data loss. Just as old hard copies were often stored in triplicate, their digital counterparts should have some form of redundancy.

    While this could be a simple matter of plugging in an external hard drive once a day to backup up your personal laptop, on a business scale you’ll need something more robust.

    This is another key aspect of choosing the right cloud service for your central storage. Business plans for cloud services generally include backup capability, so be sure to verify that with whichever one you choose.

  3. Test Your Backup
    There’s no point in having a backup if you never double check that it’s working right. The last thing you want to happen is that you get hit with ransomware, go to restore your files from backup, and find that something has gone wrong.

    Testing – which should happen on at least a quarterly basis, if not more often – is as simple as opening the file in your backup to double check that it’s not corrupted.

In the end, the most effective way to become more organized is to make it a habit, not a chore. That means following these practices right in the moment, and not putting it off until later.

Once you have your central cloud storage set up and organized, make sure you don’t continue saving files to your desktop and telling yourself you’ll store them in the cloud later. Do it right then, every time – before you know it, you’ll be organized.

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