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  • Writer's pictureSara Millis

7 helpful tips for keeping your shared cloud storage organised

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Cloud storage has revolutionised the way we work and in 2022 our reliance on them became even stronger with key updates in security and AI. Our teams can now work from anywhere and at any time of the day. It’s no wonder why most businesses prefer cloud storage over traditional in-house server options these days - the costs alone are a huge benefit!

A man and two women looking at a laptop together.

Between 2015 and 2022, the percentage of worldwide corporate data stored in the cloud went from 30% to 60%. This was partially due to the swing from office working models to remote and hybrid working models, during the Pandemic.

Typical cloud services for many of these businesses included team-sharing cloud servers like; Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and others.

But just like the storage on your computer and in-house networks, cloud storage can quickly become disorganised - making it bad for business. Some of the easiest mistakes to make are file and folder duplication, moving files without notifying those concerned and failing to share the right folders and files with the right people. It leaves staff feeling; slow, confused and resentful and your business productivity likely takes a nose-dive.

Here are some interesting facts for you about bad cloud storage practices and their relationship to workplace productivity, according to a study by Elastic and Wakefield Research.

  • 60% of remote workers said that they wasted more time looking for documents than replying to emails

  • 85% of those same workers reported the need to search for documents daily

To help solve this problem for you, we have come up with 7 helpful tips for keeping your business’s shared cloud storage organised.

Our 7 top tips for keeping your shared cloud storage organised

1. Use a universal folder naming structure across the business

If your staff are naming folders in different ways it quickly becomes a nightmare to find what you need quickly. This could mean difficult customer phone calls get tenser, or it could mean you miss a deadline for a pitch. All because your staff couldn’t find what they needed quickly.

Use a universal folder naming structure that everyone follows. Map out the hierarchy of folders and how to name each folder and file. For example, you might have “departments” as an outer folder and nest “projects” inside.

With everyone using the same naming system, it will be easier for everyone to find things and you’ll also reduce the risk of having duplicates.

2. Keep file structure to 2-3 folders deep only

The one thing your staff need is an intuitive system of filling. If you have too many folders nested, it can take forever to find what you need. Worse still, if someone can’t easily find where they need to save a file, they’ll often put it somewhere they think best, leaving fellow staff members wandering the virtual hallways of your filing library for far too long.

To avoid this problem, keep your file structure only two to three folders deep. Remember the more simple you make your system the easier it is to follow for staff.

3. Make sure your staff are proficient in your filing system and have the right access rights

The more folders people have to click into to find a document, the more time it takes. This is especially true if you haven’t thought about access rights at the beginning and your employees can’t find what they need to access quickly.

For example, let’s say Sally is new on reception and she has taken over from Dan who has gone to lunch. Sally’s job is to prepare outgoing mail and record details on a spreadsheet for accounts. Unfortunately, no one has given Sally access to the master spreadsheet, so as Dan is out, she types up a new spreadsheet and saves it to the reception’s main shared folder, instead of the reception’s accounts folder. Two weeks later, when the accounts team are reconciling mail costs with outgoing mail data from reception, they come across discrepancies, but they can’t work out why. The problem is all because the information they need wasn’t saved in the right place.

4. Don’t create folders that aren’t going to be used for more than 10 files

Create a rule for your cloud storage that restricts folder creation to 10 files or more. This avoids having tons of folders with less than a handful of files in them. A storage administrator can quickly keep an eye on this for you, as well as manage employee usage.

The upshot of a more strict folder creation rule is that it will mean fewer folders for employees to search through to find the files they need.

5. Promote the slogan “take the time to save it right”

File storage can get disorganised quickly when people save files to a general folder. This issue multiplies when you have many people sharing the same cloud storage space. Files that aren’t where they belong add up fast.

Promote the slogan “take the time to save it right”.

By doing this staff should take the extra few seconds to navigate where the file should be to save it. If you use a file structure that’s only 2-3 folders deep, then this should be easier for everyone to follow.

6. Use folder tags or colours for easier recognition

Many cloud file systems allow you to change the colour or tag a folder. Using this system effectively can make a group of folders instantly recognisable. This reduces the time it takes to find what you need when you need it.

7. Declutter or archive files and folders once a month

In a busy business, several files will be created in a day, the more you have floating around in your cloud storage system the more difficult it is to sift through for the one file you actually need. Whether you have an organised system or not, the time wasted to find files adds up.

It’s a great practice to have someone act as a file storage administrator because they can handle this issue for you. Have your administrator check, declutter and archive older files under a business-wide protocol once a month.

Make sure they question the following

  • Who is the person (or department) responsible for this folder or file? Do I have their approval to move, archive or delete this file or folder?

  • Is the file or folder still needed under data protection, finance or other legal regulations?

  • Is this folder or file still in use?

  • Is it a duplicate?

  • Is there an updated version elsewhere?

  • Is this essential to archive?

Once you have these tips in place you are likely to have a more organised and useful cloud storage system for your business and employees to use.

Do you need help organising your cloud storage system?

If your cloud storage system feels like a mess, then give us a call. Here at IT Soho we are experts in data storage and IT solutions. We will have you up and running effectively in no time!



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