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Chapter 5. Organizing Your Files > Putting It All Together

Putting It All Together

If you’re working in an organization or a work team, systematizing folder and file naming is a group process. Someone needs to manage the process as they do any other procedural change. Here’s what you can do to facilitate the process.

  1. Start by getting a clear charter from management for the task, and ensure that the manager communicates this to the work group along with the reason for it. One important point that employees need to recognize is that documents produced by the organization are the organization’s intellectual property, not just an individual’s work, and it’s crucial that the organization be able to inventory and track its property.

  2. Obtain input from interested parties as you develop your system—it’s easier to negotiate up front than deal with noncompliance later.

  3. Write down your system for file naming and make a job aid out of it. It doesn’t have to be long—just one side of a sheet of paper or a laminated 5 x 8 card. It should identify file-naming guidelines for different types of files, which files should be saved in which folders, and how often files in different folders are to be archived or deleted.

  4. Obtain agreement that for the first few weeks of using the new system, someone will help the team by looking over the files that are saved and moving and renaming them as needed.

  5. Ensure that someone is charged with taking a few minutes with new hires to explain the system to them.

  6. Get feedback on how the system is working for people, and modify it as needed.



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