Managing your digital files might not seem like that big of a deal, but as soon as you have to deal with important data, the mindset changes. Be it work, studies, or personal files, you want to avoid potential problems before they occur.
Creating a proper digital file management strategy is a solid approach that can save you time, money, and nerves. If you want some pointers to help with creating such a strategy, continue reading the article.
Invest in Recovery Software
Let’s start with recovery software. Even if you are careful around the files and double-check before moving something to the trash or deleting it permanently with a keyboard shortcut, accidents can still happen.
Besides, it is not just you who might remove a file. For instance, someone else might be using your computer. Or, they might need your help figuring out how to recover an unsaved word document or another file.
Fortunately, data recovery software is relatively cheap, not to mention that some operating systems come with built-in tools.
Of course, it is important to note what type of files a recovery tool can bring back and how far back it can go to potentially restore a file.
The bottom line is that data recovery tools are useful, and you should keep them around on your computer.
Similar to how you need recovery tools, you should also have a way to back up data. Having a copy or two of important files in advance is a common practice among both businesses and individuals.
Imagine a random power outage or your computer’s hardware suddenly breaking down. Sure, you could argue that recovery tools might be enough to get yourself out of the situation, but you cannot guarantee that.
Most people use cloud storage or an external hard drive to back up files, particularly if there is not that much data.
At the same time, businesses often create dedicated servers as a safety net because the costs of potentially losing data can be too much to recover from.
Be Mindful of Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats can attack you when you least expect them to. Do not disregard the possibility of that happening just because you are an individual.
Some computer users are also reluctant because they use macOS or another operating system that is known for its reliability and security.
Having an OS that excels in fending off malware is obviously a plus, but it is better to avoid tunnel vision, particularly if you are concerned about the files on your computer (or a mobile device, for that matter).
Viruses can corrupt or straight-up delete data depending on how severe the threat is and how long it is left unattended.
As a rule of thumb, you need to install antivirus software. On top of that, this software should be running in the background when the computer is switched on. Not creating such a setup will put the computer and its files at risk.
In some cases, you might even need to reinstall the operating system to clean the device from the infection. And whether it will be possible to recover lost files comes down to the severity of cybersecurity threats, but it makes sense not to risk it.
Create Naming Conventions
Distinguishing between a vast amount of data is hard if you fail to name individual files and folders properly.
Moving from one directory to the next is inefficient. You need to use the search function and cut time doing so.
Having said that, the search feature becomes pretty useless if the files do not follow naming conventions.
Take images, for example. If you take photos on your smartphone, the default name usually comes out as a mix of random letters and numbers. Locating a specific photo without giving it a name is a difficult task when there are hundreds or not thousands of different files.
Naming each file individually takes time and feels monotonous, but it is a necessary step to ensure that you can avoid problems in the future.
Use Visuals to Distinguish Files
Visual information might feel like a stretch at times, but it is still useful in some circumstances.
Say that you have too many folders and get lost despite naming them properly. If that is the case, then why not create custom icons for each folder or label them? Different colors are an option as well.
Rely on External Storage
The last bit of advice is to rely on external storage. We already mentioned how you could use clouds and external accessories to back up data, but that is not all.
Moving files between a cloud account and your computer or mobile device is intuitive and fast. You can often open documents right in the cloud and make changes without needing to move the file. And since the clouds are known for their safety and reliability, you are not as prone to potential data loss.