7 File Management Tips to Improve Your Workflow

Do you have file folders all over your computer? Does it seem like the file you need is always on a different drive or in a different folder?

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to take a look at file management tips.

It’s no secret that organization is key to file management, so if you’re interested in learning more, take a look at these 7 tips that will help you get started.

Get an External Hard Drive

One file management tip to improve your organization is by investing in an external hard drive.

These are available at many price points, so look around before making a decision. Make sure you do this first, because if you don’t have enough space on your computer’s internal hard drive, there won’t be room for new files.

Use the Right File Types

Another file management tip is to use the right file types.

This means using file extensions to know what type of file it is, without opening it up. If you don’t, your computer might try to open a document as something else, which could cause problems with that specific file or other files on your system.

Extensions are visible when you look at properties for any given file in Windows by clicking “Details.”

For example, an Excel spreadsheet will have the .xls extension while PowerPoint presentations will end with .ppt/.pptx, depending on which version you’re working with.

The same goes for photos and videos; be sure they all end with JPG/JPEG or PNG (for images and photos) and MOV or AVI (for videos).

If you don’t see file extensions in Windows, go to Tools > Folder options and uncheck “Hide file extensions for known file types.” This will allow you to find the right type of file easily.

You can also search by file extension; it’s a great way to locate any important document that isn’t where it should be. For example, if you wanted your resume saved as a .doc, file instead of a PDF, you could enter *.doc into the search bar on my computer, and all files with this extension would show up.

Use File Organizers

A file organizer is an efficient way to stay organized by creating folders within a folder, subfolders within subfolders if necessary for organization.

For example, let’s say you have music on your computer saved locally rather than streaming them from the internet. You could set up one main folder called Music, which would hold several smaller ones like Dance Music, Pop Singles, and Classical Compositions based on genre or type of song.

Subfolders are also great for organizing photos into events. They can be broken down even further with additional subfolder titles, such as Birthdays 2020, Vacation 2021, etc.

Use the Right File Naming

Another file management tip is to use file naming conventions.

This means using a consistent method for naming files, so they are easily found, not just by you, but any other person who may need access to them. For example, if your file name was “sample doc,” it would be much easier and intuitive to name that file “contract.”

It helps others understand what type of document it is without opening up the file first. This will also help when searching, because instead of searching sample doc all (which could bring back multiple results), you know exactly where to find this particular file or set of computer files based on their names.

For photos and videos, adding keywords in the title can be useful. This can help you find them later, especially if there are hundreds within a file organizer, like the one mentioned above, for music.

For an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, use words that describe what’s in it to make sure it doesn’t get lost among other files on your computer (e.g., “Marketing Plan,” “Contact List”).

Use Folders

Create as many folders as you need, but don’t go overboard and create too many. This will not only make it more difficult to find the file you’re looking for if they are all located in one folder, but there could also be a performance impact on your computer because of the number of files within that particular area.

Folders work best if you can place like with like. For example, all documents would go within Documents. Music file folders should be kept together under Music file organizers. Photos and videos should also have their own file folder dedicated to them.

The exception would be for system files necessary for your computer to run properly, such as DLLs or drivers. These will need to stay where they are so the operating system can access what it needs.

As mentioned earlier, using subfolders is a great way of organizing these main folders even further based on the type of file stored inside the parent folder (e.g., “Documents > Personal Docs”)

It’s important to implement any file management tip in moderation. Don’t get carried away and make a file organization system that’s more complicated than it needs to be. You will only frustrate yourself if the process takes too long.

Utilize Cloud Storage

File management system – Features and benefits | Canto

This file management tip is excellent to consider if you use multiple devices, such as laptops and tablets.

Using cloud storage allows you to save your files on an external server or even the internet itself, rather than storing them locally on each device. This means those documents will be accessible from anywhere at any time, as long as they are connected to the web. It also helps with performance because there’s less data stored directly onto that particular machine.

If this file organization method interests you, several options are available, ranging in price depending on how many gigabytes of space you need per month. Some free online file managers include DropBox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.

Avoid Duplicate Files

This file management tip is especially important if you utilize cloud storage.

If you create a file and save it to the external server, don’t also download that file onto your computer. Doing so will result in duplicate documents, which could clutter things up quickly.

Not only does it take up unnecessary space, but there can also be confusion, since two copies of the same file exist under different names (e.g., “sample doc” on PC vs. Dropbox). The best way to resolve this issue is by removing one or renaming them both so they are unique.

To avoid duplication, use a file naming convention across all devices for consistent results when searching for particular items.

If you are a Mac user, learn more here about how to find and delete duplicate files.

File Management Tips to Improve Your Workflow

These file management tips will help you improve how your files are organized. In turn, this makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for without wasting too much time searching or having to ask someone else where that file might be located.

We hope you found these file management tips helpful. For more interesting articles, please keep visiting our website.

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