I am not an organized person. I usually start out with good intentions—this time I’ll keep my stuff in order. It usually doesn’t pan out. I started a folder for my college work on the first day of my freshman year. I built a beautiful little hierarchy:
College > Freshman Year > Humanities > Assigned Books > The Epic of Gilgamesh
See? It was beautifully organized, and I knew exactly what was going on (I can’t say the same for The Epic of Gilgamesh, unfortunately). But as the years went by, things became chaotic. What began as a disciplined process designed to make my life easier went awry, and I found myself simply dragging documents from my desktop into the College folder—not even daring to peek inside. The folder became a black hole, ingesting all of my work, ripping it into atoms, and collapsing in on itself. By the time I graduated, I would guess that 80% of the work I did in college had been haphazardly thrown into the college folder.
I was fortunate that there is no real compliance policy in college. I was free to toss things into the void when I had completed them and turned them in and was never really made to recall those assignments. The same cannot and should not be said for any worthwhile business in the 21st century.
People want proof, and they want proof now, and if you allow yourself to fall into the same old messy habits, you may not be able to produce them quickly or efficiently. This isn’t a problem if you’re a dumb college kid, but when you’re a titan of industry, it can cost you millions of dollars in a very short amount of time. This is why an established, coherent file analysis and management plan is an absolute necessity. The writing is already on the wall for any business that haphazardly throws files into a folder or drive or even filing cabinet. Recall must be quick, relevant, and efficient, and with increased digitization, that needs to be true of millions if not billions of documents. Without a proper file analysis and management solution, or at the very least some semblance of a system for organizing your documents, it could cost you millions if not billions of dollars.
Maybe my college folder dilemma is unique to me. I like to think of myself as a unique individual, so perhaps my problems are unique as well. However, it seems to be a very commonly human emotion to set out with the right intentions and slowly slide into apathy. Heck, there’s an entire industry based on us starting and failing New Year’s Resolutions (looking at you, long term membership gyms!). If that’s part of human nature, then we should be utilizing technology to overcome our mortal folly quickly.
If you'd like to learn more about the importance of file analysis and management, I would highly encourage you to sign up for our upcoming webinar. Data management can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Join us in exploring the solution, and prevent a black hole folder from eating your business.