Folders suck at making your data and documents easily searchable and they’re slowing your business down.
That’s a pretty bold statement isn’t it? After all, file folders have been used since the early days of enterprise to store documents and information, why all of the sudden do they suck?
I’m going to answer that for you with a quickly conjured example of your typical folder, letting you down when you need it the most. I’ve always thought accounting was sort of a neat field, so I’m going to create a fake accounting firm called ‘Horizons Accounting and Bookkeeping Company’ (HABCO).
Here is what a folder structure for a company such as HABCO might look like.
You can see we have:
- Duplicate sub-folders such as invoices, taxes and year end.
- A complicated amount of folder/subfolder nesting.
Folders are containers. They describe what is inside of them. The invoices folder holds invoices, straightforward right? Well, the paid sub-folder in invoices does that hold a paid? What is a paid?
Paid is a status about an invoice. There are other statuses too: Cancelled, Reimbursed etc. Paid and those other statuses describe (data) of (data), like status of invoice, or due-date of invoice.
This data-of-data concept is called meta-data.
When you use nested folders, if you had to search for unpaid invoices you could easily search all folders for ‘unpaid’. If you wanted to limit your search to one client such as fission, you’d have to navigate to the fission folder, and execute your search there for all sub-folders. If a client paid an invoice, you’d have to drag and drop their invoice from the unpaid folder over to the paid folder.
There is a better way, what if you simply had one folder called ‘invoice’ and you threw all of your client invoices in there, regardless of meta-data status? Then when you put an invoice in there, you assigned it a meta-data tag like ‘client’ which you could set to fission or itfriends. You could also set a status like ‘paid or unpaid’. What if the search function looked at those meta-data fields on each document and brought up all the relevant documents? Well, that’d be awesome! You could search for all ‘unpaid’ invoices by ‘fission’ on ‘due-date’ across your entire business.
SharePoint is a meta-data document solution. Call IT Horizons today and let us help you unfolder your business and organize your data!