3 Document Organization Tips That Work


Are you spending more time looking for your files instead of working on them?

Studies show that each American individual spends nearly 72 hours searching for misplaced items annually.

Think about everything you could get done if you weren’t so disorganized?

Getting your documents in order is one thing, but staying organized is a larger challenge.

Don’t miss these essential document organization tips for office workers, students, and more.

1. Get Your e-Files in Check

Digital document creation is now the norm. So, let’s start with your computer and mobile devices.

First, ensure you have all web security protocols in place. Since you’re creating documents in the cloud, you’ll need a strong password and word processor that encrypts information. You should also audit your wireless network for any vulnerabilities.

Safely delete files through your chosen web security program if you’re clearing out documents. Even items in your trash folder are susceptible to hacking. Be careful with creating, storing, and deleting sensitive information.

Next, organize your current files into clear, separate folders. It’s easy to save everything to the “downloaded” folder or rely on “recent files.” Overcrowded folders are just time-wasters.

Your file names also matter. You can’t keep saving multiple variations of the word “file,” like file (1), file (2), and so forth. Clearly label each file, including parent project identifiers.

Audit all shared files and remove any permissions for people no longer involved in the project. You’ll also need to destroy any devices with compromised document data.

2. How to Organize Documents for School

While many school projects are digital, students still deal with hardcopy assignments.

Thus, you still need the following “old school” supplies to organize important documents:

  • Printer paper
  • Staplers
  • Paperclips
  • Paper folders
  • File trays
  • Highlighters

Of course, every student needs a reliable three-ring binder. Yet, these essentials grow overcrowded fast, just like a loaded hard drive.

Ensure you have durable binder dividers and custom tabs for labeling. This website has some good examples for students, especially law students: https://tabshop.com/custom-binder-tabs. Law students are inundated with heavy coursework and reading, requiring piles of supplies per class.

3. Tips for Grad Students

Binders alone may not be enough if you’re a full-time graduate student.

Many students invest in full-sized file cabinets to organize all their coursework. Tabletop cabinets and trays are also helpful. Stackable plastic document organizers with lids save even more space, too.

All students should have a working scanner, as well. Fortunately, more affordable printers come with scanners. Plus, you can scan and print documents through smartphone apps remotely!

Scanning helps preserve any hard copy documents you want to save. It’s beneficial if you want to store old or fragile documents in storage for safe-keeping. For example, archivists depend on high-quality scanners for their work.

Discover More Document Organization Ideas

These tips are just the beginning. Even more document organization tips await!

Remember to start with your digital document needs. Then, move on to hardcopy organization, leveraging binders, folders, custom tabs, and more. Grad students and aspiring lawyers must be extra organized to avoid falling behind.

The blog is also filled with quick and clever ideas for busy people like you!