The costs of digital disorganization are similar to those of all other forms of disorganization: wasted time, increased stress and missed business opportunities, among others. Without a well-defined system for saving, naming and storing digital files, employees can waste a lot of time looking for electronic documents.
According to a 2010 study conducted by P-Touch, 66% of employees admit to spending up 30 minutes or more week looking for misplaced work items at their desk or around the office. Another 56% report spend a similar amount of time “looking for files they cannot find” on their computer, and more than one in three say they “sometimes” or “very often” must spend time recreating and reprinting previously created documents because they have been misplaced.
If you or your office operate with an ad hoc, cross-your-fingers and hope-you-can-find-it-later-approach towards managing files and materials (whether they are electronic, paper or other items) think about how this affects your productivity. How many minutes a day do you and your colleagues spend looking for files or other items that you know are around…somewhere?
As with other organization systems, there is not one right way to organize an electronic filing system. The best digital filing system is one that makes sense to you, mimics your paper filing system, is easy to use, and that you will use. However, there are some common considerations and key components that should be considered in creating a well organized electronic filing system. We have assembled those guidelines in our “Dealing with Digital Disorder” guide, which you can download from our website (look on the right sidebar or scroll down to the bottom of the screen).
Any productivity loss that can be prevented is worth addressing, to decrease stress and frustration and improve your performance and success. Investing the relatively small amount of time and planning up front that it takes to create a well organized system for managing your files will save you time and resources in the long run. Even if you are just managing a smaller number of electronic files for personal use on a home computer, it pays to set up a system that makes sense and is easily maintainable.
How much would you and your business gain by getting better organized? If you would benefit from creating better organized systems at work or at home, contact us to learn how we can help.