In the previous millennium, there were filing clerks. Wonderful people who kept every piece of paper in its rightful place. A point person for anyone who needed to lay their hands on a document in double quick time. Times have changed. Now we need Digital Filing Clerks.
Now I want to access my files wherever I am and on whatever device I have to hand and I want to do it fast.
There are plenty of cloud-based storage solutions to make this possible, and they definitely improve the situation.
Holding digital copies of your paperwork makes perfect sense and being able to access them from any location, is an advantage, but, you need processes in place to know where you filed your document and how to access it quickly, when you need it.
I have yet to meet anyone who likes filing.
My household filing sits in a dark corner glaring at me – I do it on a quarterly basis – but that’s not good enough when it comes to business.
Intuitive Filing for the 21st Century
Your filing system needs to be intuitive, quick to navigate and everyone needs to stick to the file naming protocol.
It’s no good if some people file things as The Company if others file it under Company, The.
Simple issues which can cause major frustrations.
Despite my household filing confession, when it comes to business, things are very different.
Digital Filing Strategies
When I work with a client, I take time to evaluate filing strategies that are in place now.
If things are disorganised, and document retrieval is time-consuming I then suggest appropriate solutions to improve the workflow and organisational structure.
I really like using project or case numbers as they provide a logical way to group documents.
Digital Filing for Group Access
In organisations where files are shared by multiple people, it’s imperative to have a good cloud based solution which allows multiple users to access centrally located files and a good naming protocol that everyone adheres to and understands.
Depending on the cloud solution used, naming conventions can differ to suit your needs.
Manual naming should not be necessary and instead, naming protocols can be configured to ensure all documents retain a format everyone understands.
Whether you order documents by date, name or number, is irrelevant, as long as there is a continuity.
Example Filing Structure
containing subfolders for T&Cs, logos, document templates
containing subfolders for testimonials, blog posts, twitter schedules, images
containing subfolders for each of your clients which may use project/case numbering
speaks for itself
containing subfolders for timesheets, process documents
Good filing makes good sense
Filing isn’t sexy, but a system that’s intuitive and easy to use certainly saves a lot of stress and aggravation.
If you don’t have control of your day-to-day business admin, it can be a huge source of stress, and when you’re working hard and focused on your work, disorganisation is a huge distraction.
If you’re filing is a mess, start from scratch.
Create a new filing system, write up the processes and run it in tandem with the existing method.
You’ll quickly see which is the winner and you’ll avoid the stress of having to work with a completely new system.
You may, of course, have better things to do with your time, like seeing clients, which is why things are in a mess.
Rightfully, you’re concentrating on the bigger picture, meanwhile the administration, which should support your business, is crumbling under the pressure of neglect.
If this is the case, you might need a top virtual assistant to bring order to the chaos and improve the productivity of your business by making information much more accessible.
Your business may seem terribly complicated to you, but a talented Virtual Assistant will get to grips with it pretty quickly.
If you’re not sure how much a Virtual Assistant can do for you and, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how Saunders & Lee can help you, please get in touch on 01223 803666.