It is always an embarrassing situation when you can’t locate the necessary file in front of a customer. On other situations, you might need a document to take an important business decision, but can’t find the document anywhere. Only on situations like these, you identify the importance of following a specific document management process. In today’s post, I will share the top 10 document management steps everyone should follow.
- The first step is to create a plan for managing your documents. The plan should include detailed instructions about the organization of your files. Along with following the plan, it is also important to keep the plan updated with the latest changes.
- There should be a centralized location for storing all of your documents. This should act as the central repository for all of your business documents. This is definitely simple when you are using a document management system.
- Following a logical hierarchy is another important step in your document management plan. Whenever you are putting files or folders into another folder, apply your common sense and make sure you are following the basic plan.
- It makes sense to nest the relevant sub-folders into other folders. Depending on the situation, you can create sub-folders by the years, document type, client name, project name etc. Feel free to create additional sub-folders within the sub-folders as well.
- Having a strict naming convention is another must for a well-planned document management system. When you follow such a convention, it is a lot easier to find out the necessary document from a pile of other documents.
- When naming the files, you should be specific to the purpose and objective of the file. The file name should be created in such a way that it provides an overall idea about the contents. Instead of using the default names, always use a meaningful name.
- The best time to organize a file is the moment you create the file. Never fall victim to the trap of doing this later. When you leave this task for later, chances are higher that you will never do this at all.
- All your business files and documents should be ordered according to your requirement. If you use a specific file or folder frequently, create a shortcut in the desktop for quick access. It is also possible to assign shortcuts for frequently used programs.
- Along with storing the necessary files, it is also important to archive and/or get rid of the unnecessary files you no longer need. It doesn’t make any sense to cling on to these files. However, don’t forget to keep backups of the necessary business files before discarding them.
- Last but not the least; you shouldn’t forget to keep regular backups of your business files. This applies to both your current and previous files. If possible, keep multiple backups spread on the cloud and offline storages.
Following a specific document management system could be very useful in increasing your business productivity, take better decision and in lots of other aspects. This post introduced you to the most effective document management steps you can follow. Let me know how many of them are new to you. And if you have any other tips to share, feel free to leave a comment below.