What's the Ideal File Organization Software for Your Office? Six Factors to Consider
There are a lot of file organization software options out there. Which ones meet your needs? What are the features that matter? And is there a best all-around choice? Absolutely: FileCenter. In this article we'll discuss six factors you should consider and show why we recommend FileCenter.
- File organization software should employ a well-structured layout and a search engine
- The file organization program must work with the Save/Open functions of other programs
- The ideal file organization solution needs to give you tools that fit your tasks
- For offices that scan a lot, scanning should be included
- A good file organization solution should include PDF conversion and editing tools
- Consider file organization software that lets you use your favorite Cloud service
- Jump to our recommendation »
File Organization Software Should Employ a Well-Structured Layout and a Search Engine
It matters how you interface with your files. In our experience, the fastest way to get to a file is through a logical, well-structured hierarchy. If your filing system is structured properly, most files are reachable within just a few mouse clicks. So the primary interface should be organizational, bolstered by an effective search engine that will facilitate hunting down the files that aren't where you expect them to be.
In FileCenter's case, files are organized through an electronic file cabinet interface with cabinets, drawers, and folders. Documents are filed the same way you organize your paper files. Drilling down to a file is quick and efficient. And if, occasionally, you need to search for a lost needle, FileCenter integrates with the powerful Windows Search engine, which indexes the full content of every file.
The File Organization Program Must Tie into the Save/Open Function of Other Programs
For a file organization program to be truly effective, it should tie into the Save/Open functions of at least your primary programs, otherwise you'll end up with files scattered all over your hard drive, not unified in your file organization program. FileCenter has the unique ability to capture the Save/Open functions of almost any Windows program out there, making it possible to always use your cabinet interface every time you save or open a file. This has the distinct advantage of making it so nothing slips through the net.
The Ideal File Organization Solution Needs to Provide Tools that Fit Your Tasks
Step back and take inventory of the tasks that you tend to perform each day when working with files, particularly the ones that come up over and over and over. Any good file organization solution should address these tasks and either automate them or streamline them. Why? Because if your file organization solution isn't making you more efficient, what's the point? A few examples:
The most common task is probably saving files. And every time you save a file, you go through the mental exercise of figuring out a logical name. Why not decide once what kind of naming convention you want to use, set it up, then let the software offer up names for you? And instead of re-creating the same folder layouts over and over again every time you set up a new client/customer/patient, wouldn't it make more sense to establish the most common layouts once, then just drop them into place wherever you need them? And you should be able to bookmark locations you visit often, and create shortcuts for the programs that you use most, and you should be able to rename and move files in one quick step, and easily attach files to email, etc. (Incidentally, FileCenter provides features that address all of these.)
For Offices that Scan a Lot, Scanning Should be Included
If your office needs to do a lot of scanning, you need to make sure that the file organization software includes scanning functions. Ideally, it will tie scanning tightly into your workflow. When evaluating file organization offerings, ask yourself these questions:
Does the file organization software produce searchable PDF files (i.e. was OCR included as part of scanning)? Can you give the file a name at the time you scan it, or is that an extra step? Can you scan directly into the folder where you want to store the scan, or do you have to move it into place afterwards? How hard is it to add additional pages to an existing scan? Replace pages? Can the file organization software automatically separate a stack of scanned documents into individual files?
FileCenter goes the extra mile in facilitating and optimizing document scanning, smoothing out or automating every step possible, from trimming off mouse clicks to splitting up files and even to automatic document naming and routing.
A Good File Organization Solution Should Include PDF Conversion and Editing Tools
Now that PDF has increased in importance, your file organization solution should include all of the tools you need for working with PDFs. For instance, combining two PDF files into one. As common as this need is, it leaves a lot of users scratching their heads. This should be as simple as dropping one PDF on another one (like in FileCenter). Splitting a PDF into multiple files or extracting a page should be just about as easy. And you should be able to convert any common file to PDF without leaving the interface. Also consider a solution that includes a PDF print driver, a handy way to generate PDFs out of any printable document. You might even consider a file organization solution that includes a full PDF editor right in the interface. This would let you conveniently view, stamp, annotate, and secure PDF files.
Consider File Organization Software that Works with Your Favorite Cloud Service
If by chance the file organization software you're considering uses a database to store files, you won't have remote access to your files, or if you do, it will have to be through whatever tool or feature the software itself provides. You won't be able to use DropBox, or Google Drive, or OneDrive, or SugarSync, or any other service for accessing your files remotely. FileCenter, on the other hand, provides you with almost limitless options. Any of the Cloud providers mentioned work seamlessly with FileCenter. And considering how important Cloud access has become, this is one feature you won't want to skimp on.
Our File Organization Software Recommendation
FileCenter concerns itself with making you as efficient as possible. This starts with a clean, intuitive interface that users rave about and extends to the file-related tasks that burden users on a daily basis, providing tools and shortcuts to automate or smooth out all of the speed bumps in your daily workflow, from working with files to scanning and PDF manipulation.