Guide to the best digital filing system and how to use electronic folders (2023)

Let's face it: it's easy for files to become disorganized on your computer. Documents are saved in the wrong place or an electronic folder is accidentally saved in a random location. Implementing an effective digital filing system can save you from these mistakes and reduce all the confusion and stress that they bring.

In order to transform your workplace into a paperless office, you need to consider a few things. Consider these important factors when determining the best digital filing system for your office.

What you should consider when choosing a digital filing system

Whether you are looking for a digital filing system for your office or home, there are certain things that any filing system must do well.

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structure and formatting

Notice how the files are organized and what sorting options you have. This is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a digital filing system. Does the system have an easily accessible and understandable layout? Does the whole system structure seem efficient for your file needs?

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Search function is the key. If you need a filing system, you probably have a lot of files to organize. It's crucial that your files are just a few clicks away. While your filing system is designed to keep your materials organized and easy to find, the efficient search function saves you a great deal of time.

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simple user interface

You shouldn't watch tutorial videos for hours just trying to figure out how to move a document. Consider how easy the system is to understand. If the system of your choice is too difficult to understand, you won't be able to take full advantage of it.

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If you are already using a system on your computer, make sure that the two systems - the existing and the new one - are compatible with each other. How do they interact when sharing and opening documents? Does this system allow drag and drop files? Can they be easily shared between different software programs? Ask yourself these questions to determine which system works best with the software you already use.

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Security is an obvious factor, but proper security is essential. This is especially important if you keep documents that contain personal information about employees or company business. The selected security level is a matter of taste; Each system has a different set of access rights, so determine your needs to choose the best filing system.

Familiarize yourself with the options of your digital filing system

By considering these factors, you can begin to determine the best filing system for you. When it comes to organizing your electronic files, there are various filing system options available to you. You may find that using your own computer hardware to manually create a digital filing system works best for your needs. You might like the idea of ​​downloading a digital filing system to keep all your documents in order, or you might opt ​​for an online filing system. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of options for everyone. We have a review below which we hope will help you decide.

cloud archiving systems

The most well-known archive systems are cloud storage systems. A cloud system allows access to your files from any device logged into a specific account. If you store a file on a computer in a cloud system, you can access it from another computer as long as you are logged into the same account. While a cloud allows for organization, it also allows for anywhere, anytime access since your files aren't just stored in one place. Here are some of the most popular cloud storage systems.

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Google Drive

Google Drive is included with every Google account. If you use Google for email, you dowill automatically have 15 GBshared storagewith anyone else who has a Google account. This standard number of GB is completely free. You have to pay for more than 15 GB - as with any other system, an increase in storage means an increase in the monthly price.

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Apple iCloud

iCloud is specially designed for Apple users. If you use an Apple device, Apple iCloud is incredibly effective. Although you can access iCloud over the Internet, you cannot download the software using a non-Apple product. However, this software comes bundled with every Apple device. So if your office uses Apple products, using iCloud is a great option.

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Dropbox can be downloaded and accessed from both the web and desktop. While Google Drive gives you more space for your money,Dropbox can actually sync your files fasterals Google Drive.

What to do in Dropbox

At Blue Summit Supplies we are very familiar with Dropbox as it is the digital filing system we all use. Here are some tips we've learned from using Dropbox as a (small but growing) team.

  1. Audit oft!Don't let clutter turn your Dropbox files into a nightmare. Instead, make it a point to review and organize your files on a quarterly or monthly basis. Delete duplicates, rearrange folders and rename mislabeled ones. How to make sure you never get lost in your Dropbox.
  2. Standardize the nomenclature.Make sure each department—or at least everyone who has access to Dropbox files—understands and follows a defined file naming convention. For example, it can get confusing when one team member names each image by date while another names each image by subject. Avoid this through standardization.
  3. Check often.As a startup, we're constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our policies and practices to ensure we're doing things in the best possible way. This is a good method for anyone trying to keep track of their organization and maximize the capabilities of their tools.
  4. Embrace the tutorials.Very often software is only equipped with a fraction of its performance. Don't waste your investment - get to know your tools! We recommendTutorials provided by Dropboxto get the most out of your digital filing system.

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This system offers 100GB of storage for $10 per month, which can be increased in 5GB increments. That's generous compared to other cloud systems that force you to increase your storage space by a larger amount of GB for a much higher price.

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Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is another great cloud option for file storage. Compared to some other cloud-based systems, OneDrive is available at a much lower price. While Google Drive offers more storage initially, if you exceed that amount you'll need to jump to 100GB of storage. OneDrive, on the other handhas smaller memory increments for less money.

Non-cloud-based filing systems

While cloud-based filing is an effective system, there are other filing systems that will keep your documents, information, and electronic files organized and accessible. However, because the cloud is so popular, most on-premises systems also have a cloud option.

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M files

M-File organizes your files based on what data is stored, not where you store it. You can also combine your systems via the cloud and the local system. You can access recently updated files even without an internet connection.

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eFiling cabinet

Like M-Files, the eFileCabinet system organizes and stores your files based on what's inside. They also provide folder structure templates so you can easily create a standard system for all your files. This avoids confusion and saves time you might spend looking for missing files.

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The basic system option is FileHold Express, which only allows 5-20 users.However, upgrading from Express to Enterprise is not difficult. Enterprise offers 20+ users with different prices depending on the number of users.

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Document Locator is built into Microsoft Windows, making it very easy to use for those who are already familiar with Microsoft. This ensures compatibility with any Microsoft system. Shealso list a number of other integrations,to help you determine compatibility.

The bigger, the chunkier

Most of the solutions discussed in this article are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, but larger companies rely on in-house digital archiving solutions such as servers. An archive server "is a computer connected to a network that provides a shared disk access storage location accessible by workstations that can access the computer through a network of shared computers." File servers are physical computers that reside in a specific location and are compatible with most archiving software, including those listed above.

Cloud-based system versus non-cloud-based system

Both cloud-based and non-cloud-based systems work well and are great options for paperless office software. Here are some of the pros and cons of each system.

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Since a cloud-based system gives access to all your team members, you don't have to worryduplicate files or email updates.All updates can be done directly in the cloud folder and everyone has instant access to the most recently updated material.

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(Video) Best Practice to Organize Your Computer Files

Many cloud-based systems only allow you to access the full range of system features once you have done sointernet connection. For example, if you're using Google Docs, you can't edit or create a new document without an internet connection. You can access materials that have already been uploaded, but you cannot make changes. This problem does not arise with a non-cloud-based system.

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A cloud system keeps everything readyfuse.Regardless of unpredictable computer crashes or viruses, a cloud system makes it much less likely that you will lose everything. On the other hand, a system that doesn't use the cloud takes longer when trying to prepare for system problems.

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Since a cloud system is usually connected to the internet, there is onehigher risk of hacking or viruses.Although not common, they can still occur. However, with a cloudless system, this risk is reduced exponentially.

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Cloud systems usually have moreFlexible cost options.If you only need a small amount of storage space, you don't have to pay a lot of money just to get a quality system. Instead, pay only the amount you need.

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Since these systems are all hosted by other providers,When technical problems arise, you are totally dependent on the operator to solve your problems.You may not be able to access or edit your files while technical issues are resolved.

Create your own filing system

If you own a small business or are setting up a home filing system, purchasing digital filing software may not be the best option for you. Instead of spending lots of money on a filing system, it can be just as effective to create your own.

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1. Create a main folder to store all your files. Even though they are divided and organized in this folder, you can keep all your digital files in one place so they don't get lost.

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2. Create a folder hierarchy. Combining a hierarchical system with any of the following methods keeps your documents organized and gives you quick and easy access to them.

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3. Define the information you are organizing. Is it all related? Do you have many different types of information that you want to organize? It can be worth dividing the information by topic and using one of these methods of organization.

Organize your files

While any of these previously mentioned systems will help you keep your files in order, it's still up to you to organize your electronic folders.

Whether you archive your documents yourself or use a system you purchased, it's important to establish a method by which you can keep all your files together and organized. Use some of these best ways to name files to organize them.

alphabetical filing system

As the name suggests, sort your files alphabetically. Choose whether ascending (A-Z) or descending (Z-A) best suits your needs and stick with it.

(Video) How to Create a Digital Filing System for Your Business | Digital Storage Tips

For example, to sort files with employee names, you can choose descending:

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Numerical filing system

If you work primarily with numbered files, the logical filing system would be numbered. Again, decide ascending (0-9) or descending (9-0) and compromise.

For example, to organize numbered patient records, you can choose in ascending order:

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Chronological archiving

Chronological systems work best for people who deal with a lot of dated materials, such as bills or receipts. Sorting your files by date is easy, although it's better to have a secondary sorting method.withindated files. Consider sorting each day numerically to keep things consistent.

For example, to sort dated files in ascending order, you could do the following:

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You must implement some of these methods no matter which system you choose. Remember, be consistent. It's easy to get in a rush and give a file a random name, but if you've already got a particular system installed, you won't be at a loss as to how to name your latest file.

document compressor

No matter what kind of storage system you are using, you will surely come across the error message “The file is too large”. If it is an image, you can try saving it in a lower quality, but this may affect the quality of the image depending on your needs. This is where a document compressor comes in. You can compress your documents using an online system like one of these.

digital paper

Wherever you work, you receive physical paper documents that you need to store or archive. While it's a good idea to keep the physical copy, you can store these files digitally for added protection. When you scan your documents, you can store them in an electronic folder along with other important company materials. This is perhaps one of the safest ways to keep track of your files.

However, to do this you must be able to scan your documents into your computer. This can be done using an online document scanner. Below are the best digital scanners that we recommend.

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While digital archiving eliminates a lot of unnecessary paper, you still have paper documents that need to be preserved. We recommend a small shelf to keep everything in order. Here are some handy storage cabinets to keep those paper documents handy.

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What are your favorite digital archiving solutions? Inform us! Visit usTwitter,Instagram, orFacebook. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to say hello, please email us We'd love to hear from you!

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What is the best way to organize digital files? ›

How to organize digital files
  1. Choose one place to store files and folders.
  2. Delete or archive duplicate files.
  3. Create folders and subfolders with a clear hierarchy.
  4. Be clear and specific.
  5. Stick to your file naming conventions.
  6. Always file as you go.
  7. Store your most important documents securely.

How do I organize my computer files and folders for dummies? ›

9 Key Tips for Managing and Organizing Your Computer Files
  1. Clear Away the Trash. ...
  2. Group Files in Folders. ...
  3. Create a Consistent Naming Convention. ...
  4. Access Folders and Files Quickly. ...
  5. Use Cloud Storage Providers. ...
  6. Remove Duplicates and Use Shortcuts. ...
  7. Use Note-Taking Apps. ...
  8. Archive Old Files if Necessary.

How do you set up a paperless filing system? ›

How to create a paperless office
  1. Use scanning tools to go paperless. Use a document scanner or scanning apps to scan notes, documents, images and more so they're all in one digital location. ...
  2. Use online faxing services to go paperless. ...
  3. Use a document management solution to store your paperless documents.
Mar 17, 2023

How do I organize my filing folders? ›

How to organize your paperwork
  1. Separate documents by type. ...
  2. Use chronological and alphabetical order. ...
  3. Organize your filing space. ...
  4. Color-code your filing system. ...
  5. Label your filing system. ...
  6. Dispose of unnecessary documents. ...
  7. Digitize files.
Oct 19, 2022

What is a good folder structure? ›

One folder structure best practice is to avoid having folders that compete with one another. Try not to create folders with overlapping categories. Instead, create folders which are distinct from one another, and use nesting to arrange them as needed.

What are 4 methods of organizing files on a storage media? ›

File organization refers to the way data is stored in a file. File organization is very important because it determines the methods of access, efficiency, flexibility and storage devices to use. There are four methods of organizing files on a storage media.
This include:
  • sequential,
  • random,
  • serial and.
  • indexed-sequential.

How do you create an electronic filing system? ›

How to set up an electronic filing system
  1. Step 1: Create a document retention plan. The first step is just a little bit more pre-work. ...
  2. Step 2: Choose the right file management software. ...
  3. Step 3: Figure out an implementation plan. ...
  4. Step 4: Set up storage. ...
  5. Step 5: Schedule ongoing maintenance.
Aug 5, 2022

How do I create and manage my folders and files? ›

Click on File Manager in the left panel. Select the directory for the new folder, then New and New Folder. Note: Look for either the Home or Public directory in your File Manager. Name the new folder, then click the checkmark.

What are the disadvantages of paperless office? ›

Challenges of a paperless office

Using a digital system can slow down some workflows for employees who are not as efficient with the software. Digital systems, if not properly backed up and protected, can experience costly data loss.

How does electronic filing system work? ›

Electronic file management, or electronic document management, is the practice of importing, storing and managing documents and images as computer files. It includes the scanning and capturing of data from paper-based documents, digitizing files and allowing for the disposal of hard copies.

How do I set up a simple filing system? ›

The steps to set up a domestic filing system include:
  1. Gather all your documents. ...
  2. Reduce clutter by digitising and uploading documents. ...
  3. Separate the remaining papers into categories. ...
  4. Dispose of some documents. ...
  5. Organise the archive documents. ...
  6. Organise the household documents. ...
  7. Organise the action file.
Sep 30, 2022

What is the best way to file papers at home? ›

For optimal efficiency, it's crucial to store papers in a hanging-file system. Put each category of papers in a separate folder and store them in a filing cabinet or upright in a filing box placed on a shelf. Storing them this way makes it easy for you to see how many papers you have. It also looks neat and tidy.

What are four types of folders? ›

  • Quick File Folder. Tap the [Quick File] key to save the scanned data in this folder. A user name and file name are automatically assigned to each job.
  • Main Folder. Tap the [File] key to save the scanned data in this folder. ...
  • Custom Folder. You can name a folder and store it in the custom folder.

What are the four main folders? ›

File Explorer comes with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos.

What are the three importance of folders? ›

Folders help you keep your files organized and separate. If you had no folders on your computer, your documents, programs, and operating system files would all be located in the same place. Folders also allow you to have more than one file with the same file name. For instance, you can have a file called Resume.

How do I organize thousands of digital photos? ›

Best Way to Organize Photos in 2023
  1. Gather All of Your Files into One Location. ...
  2. Create a Folder Structure. ...
  3. Decide on a System and Rename Your Files. ...
  4. Check for Photo Duplicates. ...
  5. Cull Your Unwanted Photos. ...
  6. Convert Your Non-Digital Photographs. ...
  7. Use Dedicated Software to Manage Your Digital Photos. ...
  8. Use an External Hard Drive.

What is the safest way to store digital documents? ›

Keep digital copies of documents on an external hard drive or physical copies of documents in a separate, secure location.

How do you declutter digital documents? ›

How to do a digital declutter in a limited time
  1. Close all unnecessary tabs in your browser.
  2. Sort, archive, or delete emails from that day.
  3. Exit all DMs in the company chat (to start with a clean slate the next day)
  4. Empty your Downloads folder and Recycle Bin.
Mar 7, 2023

What is a safe method for storing digital files? ›

The classic method of backing up your files, use an external hard drive or USB stick to store copies of your data. It's important that you store hard drives and USB sticks somewhere they won't be damaged or stolen along with your physical devices.


1. How to create a Virtual Filing System Using Google Drive Folders/Tips to Organize Digital Files/
(Infinite Book Equity)
2. The Best Way to Organize Your Files and Folders
(Thomas Frank)
3. 10 tips to organize digital files // back to basics
(Mariana Vieira)
4. What is the Electronic Filing System
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5. Are your files and folders a mess? Do this! | Digital file and folder organization tips
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6. 📊 How to Scan & Organize Everything Easily! Paperwork, Receipts, Photos, Cards & More
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