How to Organise your Documents

Save time and reduce stress by organising your files and documents. Read on to learn how to build an effective document catalogue.

 

Like a neatly organised shelf, or a tidy cupboard, well-catalogued files and documents help you to be more efficient quite simply because you can find things quicker. And, just as with that neat shelf, having your items in order helps reduce stress by saving you the frustration and panic that often comes with wasting time looking for something you need right now.

 

So, where do you begin? Anywhere you want, you’ll be pleased to hear. “There are no two same ways on how to catalogue,” comments Paul Azzopardi, Business Development Executive at Rentastore. It is also a very simple process: “Cataloguing runs along very basic lines or common sense,” he explains.

 

Essentially, cataloguing is the process of providing access to documents by creating formal descriptions to represent the documents and then organising those descriptions through headings that will connect users queries with the relevant documents.

 

Rentastore offers its clients the option to store boxes of with your documents, with no minimum number of boxes required in its state-of-the-art document archiving warehouses. Rentastore makes it easy for you to store your documents, by dropping off boxes at your office, providing you with a barcode for each box and then picking up the boxes when you are done. But it is up to you to create your own cataloguing system. Through this storage system you can easily and quickly locate the documents you are looking for.

 

Below are some trusted tips on how to effectively catalogue your folders and documents:

 

Simplicity

 

Keep things simple in order to avoid chaos and confusion. Your document catalogue systems need to be accessible for everyone as you never know who needs to retrieve certain documents at any given time.

 

Accuracy

 

Your cataloguing system will only work if the document names are accurate. Check and double check that you have inputted the correct file name. If possible, work with someone else so that you have a second pair of eyes checking you. It is perfectly normal, and human, to make a mistake!

 

Keep a record

 

Keeping a spreadsheet where you note down the names and relevant contents of your documents is key to effective cataloguing.

 

“An Excel sheet, the knowledge and records of the contents of what documents are being placed inside a document box which are in turn relevant to the bar code provided is one sure way of cataloguing your documents,” advises Paul Azzopardi.

 

How to keep records

 

It is up to you to decide what information is best to describe your folders and documents. Some popular rules for categorisation include:

 

  • Date
  • Department
  • Document type

 

One good way of knowing what words to use to describe your documents is to think about how you might look for them. So, for instance:

 

  • By date (You want the December 2019 phone bill)
  • By company (You want the ABCCompany phone bill)
  • By type of document (You want a phone bill)

 

A clever way of saving these documents then would be to allow you to know what the document is without opening it. A suitable file name, in this case, could be:

 

2019-12ABCCompanyBill

 

The same concept applies to folders. It is not pointless to have a load of folders called Bills inside other folders. It would be better to call the folder ABCCompany Bills so that you can use that name to search later on.

 

Once you have your documents and folders in order, you can then put them in the boxes and note down the corresponding barcode.

 

So, cataloguing and indexing the contents of your boxes could look something like this:

 

Individual File/ Folder names, within each archive box

NameFolder NameBarcode
2019-12ABCCompanyBillABCCompany Bills234567 890128
2019-11ABCCompanyBillABCCompany Bills234567 890128
2019-10ABCCompanyBillABCCompany Bills234567 890128
2019-12XYZ_OrgBillXYZ_Org Bills234567 890128
2019-12XYZ_OrgBillXYZ_Org Bills234567 890128

It may seem arduous to organise your folders and documents initially but having them organised and catalogued will save you so much time and stress in the long run, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this earlier!

 

If you wish to store your documents and folders in our professional document storage warehouse get in touch with Rentastore by calling +356 2124 3777, emailing sales@rentastore.com.mt or by clicking here.