Managing Your Documents

Time is precious in business and we all want to be able to find our documents when we need them. Using a range of simple tips can reduce the amount of time we waste searching for important documentation.

Tips for Effective File Management

Effective filing can be as simple as storing information in folders – by topic or area, and in a sequence that makes sense to you. Here are some simple tips to help manage your documents:

    1. Avoid saving documents you do not need – Take a few seconds to glance through the content, and save a file only if it’s relevant to your work activity. Having too many unnecessary documents adds to clutter and makes it harder to find things in the future. Be selective about what you keep!

    2. Use consistent methods for naming your documents and folders – Give short, descriptive names to identify what the folders relate to. You could even give a different appearance or look to different categories of folders – this can make it easy to tell them apart at first glance. If you use simple consistent methods for naming your documents it will help when you search for files on your computer.

    3. Save related documents together – Save reports, risk assessments, presentations, spread-sheets, and graphics related to a particular project in a single folder – for example save all fire safety documents in one folder. It’s quicker to find documents for a particular topic or area when they are kept in one place.

    4. Save revised versions of documents with a new file name – When you are saving revised versions of risk assessments, safety statements, etc. it is important to ensure you have both the new and existing versions. By saving revised safety statement documents with SafetyStatRev2.doc or SafetyStat10-2012.doc you can identify the most up-to-date document easily.

    5. Make digital copies of paper documents with a scanner – This is useful if you don’t have much space to store paper documents, and if you want to archive documents for traceability.

Page updated:12/05/2014

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