File Management

Keep this in mind when needing to help with maintaining file and folder management. This will help you save time and money.
There are many computers that need upgraded on space and support to help with storage now days. Here are a few examples of helping with organizing files to help find them easier.

Imagine walking into a grocery store. Now imagine that there are no sections, no aisles, and no organization. There are apples next to the pasta sauce, frozen pizza in front of the cereal, and you’re just trying to buy some bread and milk… chaos! Like the sections in the grocery store, there is an effective file and folder structure that helps you keep documents organized. This help with not wasting time trying to find files and folders, it helps reduce frustration and boosts productivity and efficiency.It’s tempting to just save everything to “My Documents,” but that creates two big problems. First, other people in your company won’t be able to access those documents. You need to make sure you’re saving files on a server, network drive or other shared location. 

Shared Cloud Storage can be a good option too. Second, your IT people back up servers and network drives; they DON’T typically back up everyone’s personal computer. So, if you save that critical proposal on your hard drive and your computer crashes, you’ll be out of luck. Keep your business files and folders out of personal, this can cause you to get confused and show files that are not part of business needs. You will cost your business time and money to backup extra space for those unneeded files that our your and not the companies. One easy way to sort your files and folders are to group them by category. This is one of the most effective ways to help with finding your files easier based on the category. If you think about foods in a grocery store, they are in sections like Produce, Dairy, Packaged foods, etc. The trick is to figure out what categories to use that helps make since for the business size, industry, and how it’s organized.

Another good way is to support your files with good naming conventions. How frustrating is it when you’re slogging through a mess of files with vague names like “presentation” or “notes?” Use clear, descriptive file names that make it easy to identify what’s in the file, no matter where it is. Here are a few best practices from Stanford:·         Be concise; some software doesn’t work well with long file names·

Use descriptive information·  For dates, use a YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD format, so dates stay in chronological order·

Use sequential numbering (01, 02, etc instead of 1, 2, etc)·

Avoid special characters (like ~ ! @ # $ %, etc)·

Use underscores (file_name) or dashes (file-name) instead of spaces (file name)Another good thing to do is to create folder templates. Once you’ve designed your folder structure, create empty folders as a template so you can keep it consistent. For example, if you organize your files based on client name, you’ll probably want to use the same file structure over and over again for each client.

These are some great ways to help cleanup space and help with clutter and being slow finding files. If you haven’t got space on your computer for that new app or game, or the clutter on your hard drive is just driving you crazy, you’re not alone. With the introduction of SSDs (solid-state drives) offering loads less space than traditional mechanical hard drives, in conjunction with games and applications requiring more and more disk space, your hard drive can easily become full.I’ll help support 8 ways to clean up your Windows hard drive: finding out what is taking up so much space on your hard drive, reducing the clutter and creating space for those all-important new applications or files.If you don’t need to clean up your computer files very often, or if you want control over exactly what files are deleted, I would recommend using Storage Sense on demand, rather than allowing it to run automatically. Here’s how:

1. Click your Windows icon and open “Settings”.

2. Click “System”.

3. Select “Storage” from the list on the left.

4. Under “Storage Sense”, click “Free up space now”.

5. Your computer will be scanned for temporary files which may want to delete.

6. Once the scan is complete, tick the files you want to delete.

7. Click “Remove Files” to permanently delete the files from your computer.

Windows comes with a handful of great tools to help keep your computer’s storage nice and tidy. The problem is, not everybody knows where to find these functions, or what to look for. Disk Cleanup is the first of these tools. It allows you to delete data such as temporary files, which can amount to GB’s (gigabytes) of data over time.To access the Disk Cleanup function:
1. Go to your Computer window (Start -> Computer)
2. Right-Click your hard-drive and select ‘Properties’
3. Under the ‘General’ tab, click ‘Disk Cleanup’
4. Windows will scan your drive and let you know how much space you can save by running Disk Cleanup
5. Select the files that you wish to delete form the drive, and hit OK

Emptying the recycle bin can also help free up storage and help with cache. These files also need to be checked if they are not the files that are needing to be deleted. Some of these files which we have removed using the above steps may end up being moved to the Recycle Bin. This is a nice safety measure, because if you make a mistake and have removed a file which you now want back, you can easily restore the file from the Recycle Bin. When adding a new file to your computer, a portion of your hard drive is allocated to store the file. However, after constantly saving and deleting files, a disk will become ‘fragmented’. This means that there are gaps in your hard drive where subsequent files would not fit, so they are left vacant. As well as affecting your usable free space on your hard drive, fragmentation also has a negative impact on your computer’s ability to store your data in sequence, hence slowing down it’s speed. Luckily, Windows has us covered, providing a ‘Disk Defragmentation’ tool.

Using this tool, we can analyze which of our drives would benefit from defragmentation, before we commit to defragging. This is very useful, as if you have a large drive full of data, it may take a substantial amount of time to defrag. To make use of this tool, hit your Windows icon, or Start menu, then start typing “Defragment”. From the search list, click Disk Derangement. Once you see the tool’s window, you can elect each drive and analyze them to determine what percentage of them is fragmented. Higher percentages mean higher fragmentation. This can take a long time based on the High fragmentation. Organization Is the Key to File Management. Wherever the documents are stored it is important to keep them organized and up-to-date. The goal of electronic file management is to ensure that you can find what you’re looking for, even if you’re looking for its years after its creation.

Most business folks have at one time or another been in the embarrassing position of having a customer call and not being able to quickly locate the relevant invoice or other important customer documents. Equally annoying is scrambling around at year-end trying to find documents pertaining to company accounts for the accountant or even worse, the taxman. Use the default file locations when installing application programs. Under Windows, by convention application program files reside under the (Drive Letter:)->Program Files directory.

Installing applications elsewhere is confusing and unnecessary. Place all documents under a single “root” folder. For a single user in a Windows environment, the default location is the My Documents folder. In a file sharing environment try to do the same. Create a single root folder (called “Shared Documents” for example) and store all documents in sub-folders inside the root folder. Having a single location for all electronic documents makes it easier to find things and to run backups and archives. Some operating systems such as Unix, do not allow spaces in file or folder names, so avoid this if your computing environment is mixed. Instead, use the underscores as a delimiter (e.g. Doe_John_Proposal.doc.) Other characters such as / ? < > \ : * | ” ^ are also prohibited in file or folder names under Windows. Use descriptive file names for easy identification and retrieval but don’t go overboard – file/path names have length limits which vary between operating systems.

Under Windows the maximum full path length for a file (e.g. the drive letter + folder names + file name) is 260 characters. Use common abbreviations wherever possible, such as Jan for January or Corp for Corporation. Managing electronic documents should be part of an overall document management strategy for your business. A proper document Management plan should include all aspects of handling documents, including storage, retrieval, backups, and security. The search function is a wonderful thing, but it will never match the ease of being able to go directly to a folder or file. If you follow these file management tips consistently, even if you don’t know where something is, you know where it should be – a huge advantage when it comes to finding what you’re looking for. Good file management practices will ​save your business time and money.

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