Bringing clarity to your workflow can be easy and save you time, but it requires addressing old behaviors.
What are some of those behaviors, you say? The first has to do with the relationship to files and how they're organized; the second pertains to sharing information. And, the third addresses the necessity of workflow innovation.
I think we can all agree that the time spent managing information, at this point, is overwhelming. Whether it's organizing files in folders, emailing reminders, coordinating and scheduling meetings on calendars, or asking questions and waiting for answers, there are better ways to operate. In this three-part series, I'll start by giving you four proven ways to save time and clarify your workflow.
1. Store All of Your Files in the Cloud
If I give you 100 files and give the same 100 files to your co-worker, the odds of you guys organizing them in the same manner are slim to none. Why? Because you both think differently. Yesterday, organizing in folders is the gold standard, which is why desktops continue to stay littered with assets, and corporations are left struggling to manage the content their people create.
File management of yesterday is a thing of the past. From here on out, use software like Dropbox or Google Drive and start ensuring all of your assets are in one place. When filing those assets away, keep the hierarchies to a minimum, use one primary folder per department, and eliminate all subfolders. Click here to see an example.
2. Build a Knowledge Repository
Having access to information is often the difference between success and failure. Even something as trivial as asking a question can waste a lot of time. In the general sense, what happens when you don't have the answer to a question? You Google it. What about in a corporate environment? There is no Google-like option, which means the company needs to build one out by leveraging a platform like bundleIQ that offers quick access and fluid collaboration, especially at scale. Click here to see an example.
3. Organize by Context
Organizing is so much less about hierarchy and more about context. Give your files relevant descriptions and link that copy to the cloud; this will make it easier to find the things you need. When you have a knowledge repository, you get to do something that others don't, like search by condition. Instead of looking for a file in a folder, you can search for a name, place, subject, or topic because your assets are linked to contextually relevant copy. Click here to see an example.
4. Create a Directory
Directories ease the mind. A simple guide provides a reference point that people can use even when they are not familiar with the content.
For example, When communicating a meeting agenda, instead of emailing attachments for the invitees to reference, create a directory that links to the relevant files. By doing so, you offer a cohesive experience and allow those receiving the schedule to focus on the content rather than wasting time downloading and saving attachments. Click here to see an example.