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6 Helpful Tips to Keep Shared Cloud Storage Organized

An image of a cloud, representing cloud storage. Text reads "6 Tips for keeping your shared cloud storage organized"

Document handling has been revolutionized by cloud storage. Files no longer need to be emailed back and forth, and you don’t have to wonder who has the latest version of a document in the office.

Just maintain an organized shared cloud storage system, and you streamline the whole process. 

Between 2015 and 2022, the percentage of corporate data stored in the cloud doubled, from 30% to 60%.

Cloud storage is used by most organizations in some form. Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive are examples of typical services.

But, just like with your computer’s hard drive, cloud storage can also become messy. When files are saved in the wrong location, duplicate folders are created.

When employees share a cloud space, it’s difficult to keep things organized. Keeping a storage system efficient can be challenging.

Disorganized cloud storage systems cause problems, leaving you scrambling to find the one file you’re looking for.

Additionally, it takes a lot of time to find the documents you need. Not only is it frustrating, but it also brings productivity to a halt. 

In fact, 54% of office workers say they spend more time looking for files than they should, while 58% say it’s a top-3 problem.

So, do you have messy cloud storage in your office? Is finding what you need getting harder and harder?

Let’s look at six time-saving tips for tidying up your shared cloud storage spaces.

1. Use Universal Folder Naming Structures

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a standardized method for naming folders.

Otherwise, one office employee might name folders after clients, while another uses the type of industry a client occupies.

When folders are named differently, it creates confusion and frustration, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. Additionally, extra folders tend to be created for the same thing.

Make sure everyone follows the same naming convention for folders. Identify the folder hierarchy and what each item should be named. As an example, you might have “Departments” as an outer folder and “Projects” as an inner folder.

With a standardized naming system, you , and everyone in the office will find things easier and faster.

Plus, you’ll reduce the likelihood of having extra folders with the duplicate information.

Woman with her head in her hands in front of her work computer
Related: 5 Things to Never Do On Your Work Computer (click image to learn more)

2. Limit Cloud Storage File Structures 2-3 Folders Deep

The process of finding a file can take forever when you have a lot of folders nested within one another.

Clicking down one rabbit hole after another feels like a never-ending journey. Plus, people are discouraged from saving files in the right folder when they have to click through too many folders.

Keeping your file structure two to three folders deep helps you avoid this problem. Your cloud storage will be easier to use and easier to find this way.

3. Don't Create New Folders for Fewer than 10 Files

Finding a document takes longer if people must click into more folders.

Too often employees create a brand new ones, if only to hold a few files. When that becomes a habit, folders can quickly accumulate.

Limit folder creation to 10 or more files in your cloud storage.

It prevents you from having dozens of folders containing only few files.

In fact, you might even want to have someone who acts as a storage administrator. If someone is not sure where a file should be stored, they can ask this person.

4. Implement the Slogan "Take the Time to Save it Right"

When files are saved to a general folder, they can become disorganized very quickly. We’re all guilty of saving to somewhere general from time to time, like the desktop on our PCs.

It’s something we promise ourselves we’ll “clean up” at some point.

But, as the number of people sharing cloud storage increases, this issue multiplies. It’s easy to accumulate files that aren’t in the right place.

As a result, everyone has a harder time finding things.

The slogan “take the time to save it right” should be promoted among your staff.

In other words, they should take the time to navigate to the location where the file should be saved.

When this practice is followed, things remain much more manageable.

Worker operating either remotely or in a hybrid office environment. There is a woman in front of a computer screen engaging in a virtual meeting
Related: 5 Ways Microsoft Office can Enable the Hybrid Office (click image to learn more)

5. Use Folder Colors or Tags for Easier Recognition

The color tagging of folders is available in many cloud file systems.

The use of this method makes folders and groups of folders instantly recognizable. As a result, finding and storing files takes less time.

The folders dealing with sales, for instance, could be colored green. Orange folders could be used for marketing, and so on.

If you look at a color, your brain can make the connection to a topic more quickly than text alone.

6. Declutter and Archive Files Regularly

The number of files being created these days is dizzying.

In a cloud storage system, the more files you add, the more difficult it is to find what you want. Even in well-organized file storage system, this still holds true.

Don’t make finding new files harder by keeping older files. Regularly declutter and archive your files to achieve this.

For instance, have an admin perform a monthly file deletion & organization. An example would be duplicate files or old drafts.

All older files should also be archived in a large archive folder. Through this, files that are no longer in use (but still necessary to retain) are kept out of the main file path.

How often this should occur will depend on how often new files and folders are created for your business.

For instance, if your team uploads and accesses hundreds of files per week, you’ll need to perform this more often than a business who only uploads a dozen or so.

The key is to ensure you don’t let it get out of hand.

Get Help Maximizing Your Cloud Storage Solutions

Are you happy with your cloud storage system? Or, are your team members among the 50% who spend more time searching for files than actually working?

While it’s not always easy to maintain an organized system, most businesses find that once standard procedures are in place, its not nearly as difficult to manage as they feared.

Often, the hardest part is simply getting started and cleaning up what’s already there.

The good news is that creating an appropriate system isn’t something you need to do by yourself.

Ideal Integrations, along with our cybersecurity division Blue Bastion Cyber Security, can help.

Simply contact us at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and our IT and security experts will provide a no-obligation guide through any potential problems & solutions your business faces.

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