It’s officially spring and that means it’s time to start fresh! While it’s nice to spruce up the office and give everything a good clean, why not do the same for your digital files?  Organizing your digital files is a great way to make the rest of your year’s work so much more efficient. It’s easy to get bogged down, but here are a few tips to make cleaning and putting your files together a lot easier:

Create one place for all your documents

Start with one root folder such as “My Documents” to start building in your organization. Most Windows based computers already have a root folder already created.  If you’ve got a mess of files on your desktop, start with sticking the documents there.

Be clear and logical with your folder naming

In your “My Documents” folder start creating new folders with simple classifications such as:

  • Events
  • Clients
  • Invoices

Try to avoid your own abbreviations. Pretend you’re new and needed to be able to try to find things quickly.

Create folders within folders like nesting dolls

If you’ve got a folder called “Invoices” you can create a folder inside labeled with the year, then another inside the year with the month.  See the example below:

  • Invoices
    • 2017
      • January
      • February
      • March

Have specific and logical names for your documents.

Make things easy on yourself and name documents that tell you what they are so you don’t need to open it to find out. Consider including dates after the name so you know when it was updated or saved.  Sending a first invoice?

  • ClientName_Invoice_Date
    • ABCompany_1stInvoice_032317

Don’t let it build up.

File things in the right folders right away. This will keep it from getting out of hand. File and name the document in the right place when you create it! If you do things right the first time, there’s no need to worry about a back-up later.

Back Up Your Files!

Use the cloud, SharePoint, One Drive, or another hard drive… Whatever the case schedule a day per week, at least, to back up your files somewhere else in case of an emergency. Technology is great, when it works, so don’t get lax and leave your files where something can happen and have a second place. Back up and back up often!