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Make sure that the electronic filing system meets the needs of the office, that all documents have a place in the system and that everyone understands and buys into the system. Develop both a corporate-level records retention schedule that classifies records based on business function and assigns standard time periods for keeping reco… Do we have a file naming policy? Consider your current and future activities and records to help determine the components of a file naming policy that will work now and in the future. Finding your information is going to be difficult or impossible if your folder names aren’t logical. The policy should be simple and straightforward. There’s not a question of whether Jane put it here, or Mary put it there. Receipts and Invoices . Variations include YYYY, YYYY-MM, YYYY-YYYY. Develop a thesaurus, index or other tools for searching retrieval elements, which may not occur as actual titles of folders and sub-folders. In Your checklist for designing electronic folder structures that work you learned how to make sure electronic folder structures support your records management program and incorporate a design that makes retrieval intuitive. The policy should work with your computer infrastructure, so that you can monitor policy compliance, manage records and records series, gather metadata, and perform other administrative tasks easily and in compliance with all legal requirements. ), Becoming Minnesotan: Recent Immigrants and Refugees, Stories of Minnesota's Greatest Generation, Stories of LGBTQ Communities in Minnesota, Teaching Native American History and Culture, Minnesota Center for Social Studies Education (CSSE), Preserving and Disposing of Government Records, Differences Among File Names, File Paths, and Addresses, Naming Conventions for Electronic Records, BCR’s CDP [Collaborative Digitization Program] Digital Imaging Best Practices Version 2.0, File Naming Conventions and Directory Structure, File Naming Conventions for Digital Collections, Center for Archival Resources On Legislatures (CAROL), Version number (e.g., version 1 [v1, vers1]), Date of creation (e.g., February 24, 2001 [022401, 02_24_01]), Name of creator (e.g., Rupert B. Smith [RBSmith, RBS]), Description of content (e.g., media kit [medkit, mk]), Name of intended audience (e.g., general public [pub]), Name of group associated with the record (e.g., Committee ABC [CommABC]), Release date (e.g., released on June 11, 2001 at 8:00 a.m. central time [61101_0800CT]), Publication date (e.g., published on December 24, 2003 [pub122403]), Project number (e.g., project number 739 [PN739]), Department number (e.g., Department 140 [Dept140]). How to effectively manage a shared drive: Part 2, Folder, sub-folder and document titles should clearly identify content, leaving as little room for interpretation as possible, and be short enough to help prevent the technical problems associated with excessively long file paths. From there, we were able to implement the new structure on the shared drive itself. Our posts offer expert insights, best practices and case studies on information management, business process optimization and more. Finding your information is going to be difficult or impossible if your folder names aren’t logical. How will people “think of” this record (e.g., “I need to find a copy of XYZ.doc.” or “I need information about legislation passed in 2002/2003.”)? A simple policy will be more consistently used, resulting in records that are consistently named, and thus easier to organize and access. MNHS openings and announcements. When creating a file name policy the following suggestions should be considered: As you develop your policy, you will also need to address the following: Persistence over time. Developing a proper electronic file structure is just as important as developing a structured paper filing system – neither You'll use the information from your Forms W-2 to complete your tax return. For example, use the date first on events that are time specific or reoccurring, and use the name of the event for events that are infrequent and will be easier to find by name rather than date. \ : < >. Spaces are often reserved for operating system functions and might be misread. A file name is the chief identifier for a record. St. Paul, MN 55102 The better able your organization is to apply the following guidelines, the better able staff will be to find necessary documents and comply with applicable rules around records retention, information security, and business continuity. Researcher name/initials 4. 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. Payroll and Employee Information. When this occurs, the same file can be re-created and filed several times within the same share, causing duplication and issues with regards to file versions. (Ex: 2004_Notes_v01.doc) Avoid using the word version or draft and the beginning of the file name for access purposes (Ex: Version1_2004_Notes.doc). You can easily retrieve it, and you just search for keywords, you can search by date, you can search by who produced it. Including an indicator of official record status in a file name may be useful for this purpose. Pay close attention to the freedom you give staff members (and outside vendors) in naming files. In the world of electronic records, the record’s file name provides metadata that places the record in context with other records, records series, and records retention schedules. Figure 1 An example of file hierarchy structure and ways to sub ‐categorize for a shared drive network. Where titles include acronyms and abbreviations, all members of the intended user group should be able to understand them. Determine how the names of your electronic records relate to the names of paper files you have stored. 651-259-3015 • 844-667-8679. One such example is the use of electronic filing in Human Resources. An electronic filing system utilizes an electronic device, such as a computer, to store and organize files for easy access. Raise the folders slightly in the file drawer when placing papers in them so the papers will go entirely to the bottom of the folder. Torn papers should be mended before they are filed. Create unique file names. If they are familiar with a common structure, it is easier to file new things, and find old things. The purpose of a filing system is to provide convenience, speed and ease in entering, accessing and retrieving stored information. How you organize your files can also have an impact on complying with legally mandated retention periods. Provide guidelines and training on file naming. Consider how scalable your file naming policy needs to be. Project Folder Structure Accessibility Having sound file structures and document naming conventions increases the likelihood that users will find, and more importantly use, the information they need. As well, the sheer volume of outdated/redundant files increases. How will staff members and the public access and open files in the short-term and long-term? Access and ease of use. Electronic filing systems offer the ability to organize various types of files on one operating system, or one type of file on a specific operating system. All Rights Reserved. Conduct a regular review of folder content in order to identify and purge unnecessary copies, drafts or other “non-record” material; periodically update folder titles to reflect changes in terminology and organizational names. Folder structures should be part of a larger governance framework that funnels external requirements into supporting guidelines and clearly defined roles across the organization. Does it make sense to all user groups? Anyone who has been working in the field for long will be familiar with the refrain, “senior management does not understand why records management is important!” In recent years, the challenge of demonstrating the value of RM has been compounded by the emergence of electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS).Read More, In a three-part post we are looking at the role of metrics in demonstrating the value of RM, specifically in organizations that have implemented an electronic records management system. Technical questions you need to ask – Part Two, Shopping around for RM software? By providing guidelines and training, you can maximize policy compliance in a way that meets your operational and legal requirements. Location/spatial coordinates 3. Creating Electronic File Folders . What information is most important to capture in the file name itself? After filing, retain a copy of the forms for your records. Template #5: File naming. The file path shows the location of the file. Directory Structure 2. Your employee information will contain their job applications, resumes, tax/pension forms, personal details etc. Six steps to improve your file classification- Part 1, Guidelines for making the most of your electronic folder structures, Four reasons to consider a centralized filing system, Want to Get Your Shared Drive Under Control? Then, all staff should be provided training and/or written guidelines on how to use the electronic folder structure, including the intended scope of key. Consistently named records foster collaboration based on mutual understanding of how to name files and use file names (including the file name metadata). Save and secure your signed documents anywhere in your system along with a separate audit trail document, making it one of the safe and compliant forms of electronic signature. More details. Use Final, Draft and Archive folders. Again, let’s quickly cover the dos and don’ts of file naming. Project Folder Structure Familiarity. File Naming 3. File documents relating to these different types of tax into their own tax sections within the business filing system. Standard file names allow users to find records efficiently. Order the pieces of information or elements being used to create the file name in the most logical order based on retrieval methods. For example, a map of a public park named Smith Park might have the following address: “http://www.parks.org/smith.html.”. Determining the official copy. For example, if you want to include the project number, don’t limit your project numbers to two digits, or you can only have ninety-nine projects. When filing electronically: You must provide a copy of your Forms W-2 to the authorized IRS e-file provider before the provider sends the electronic return to the IRS. Determining file naming boundaries. This will help ensure the long-term usefulness of your records and help you to meet legal requirements for accessibility (for public records) and accountability, as well as protect not-public records. Establish a methodology or tool for cross-referencing paper and electronic folders that correspond to the same logical file. Consultants 5. Send secure signature requests to anyone for any document. Your folder structures need to be logical, easy for users to understand, and allow for quick identification of information. You will need to decide what metadata to collect and include in file names. Are there limitations on the length of the file name? Create a flow chart (electronic or paper) showing the type of information that will be available and the departments or people needing access to specific files. One is to be filed in the project file and the other is to be given to the Secretary for filing in the Office Chronological File… List folders in alphabetical order – see deductible business expenses for an example listing, and then in those folders file each document using the name of the vendor/supplier. Ensure that the staff and the public (as appropriate) can access your files. Acronyms can be powerful retrieval aids, provided they are based on documented standards and/or common usage. Records that are consistently and logically named are easier to manage to meet these requirements. (Remember when dealing with sub-folders to avoid unnecessary repetition of information already included in the titles of the folders that contain those sub-folders.). By the software, computer system, or storage device? Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) Web Communication Standards. The inclusion of this designation may also make administration of your web site records easier. How to choose the right metrics for your records management program. For example, the file named “CommitteeAMinutes021401.doc” might be stored in a series of nested directories (its file path) for all committees as: “X:Committees/CommitteeA/Minutes/2001/February/CommitteeAMinutes021401.doc.” An address describes the location of a file delivered on the Internet. To select multiple files that … Include the version number in the file name by using ‘v’ or ‘V’ and the version number at the end of the document. In other words, with each staff member consistently naming electronic records, other staff members will be able to look at a record’s file name and use that information to recognize the contents and characteristics of the record and to make decisions about it. To make sure operations runs smoothly, organizations are creating and relying on increasing volumes of electronic records, but when it comes to storing and accessing those documents, records managers need to carefully consider how to identify content and maintain those structures. In this post we outline a four-step process to arriving at the right metrics.Read More, In our last blog post we shared four initial steps to help you optimize the use of your shared drives. Sales - file each invoice using the name of the customer or the invoice number (or both) Misc - for storing any documents relating to miscellaneous income; e. Expenses. Is it extensible into the future? This maintains chronological order. 3. 1. Use the Default Installation Folders for Program Files. Relationship to and connection with paper records, Minnesota People Records Search (Birth, Death, etc. Consistently named records also help you to meet your legal requirements. Here are a few examples you can use. Keep the file name as short as possible and always include the three character file extension preceded with a period (Ex: .jpg or .doc). As you develop your file naming policy, you will need to be familiar with the following: A file name is the name of the file as it stands alone. A nonexistent or messy filing system can add days of extra effort at income tax time as you don't want to miss out on tax deductions because of missing receipts. In most organizations, the policy for naming a file (and hence a record) is left to individuals or to groups of individuals (e.g., departments, committees). Creating a File System on Mac: Choose what files you want to organize. Use underscores (_) and dashes (-) to represent spaces. When you’re drafting those names, or assessing existing ones, keep these points in mind: File names should allow you to identify a precise experiment from the name. Great file structure begins with document management. Could these changes affect the file naming strategy? North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. / $ % & ^ # . As an example, updating employee personnel files, such as handbook acknowledgements, should be simple and efficient, but you’ll still want to protect or limit access to other private information in the file. The first is partly the “neat and tidy” answer but it also has to do with reducing the learning for people who move between projects. Set a backup schedule. These first steps involved creating an information framework, designing the folder structure and establishing user permissions. © 2020 TAB Records Management Blog | TAB OnRecord. Electronic records management guidelines File Naming Summary. To switch from paper filing chaos to organized electronic filing bliss, you’ll need a basic home scanner so that you can scan paper documents directly into digital format as you receive them. Digital Projects Advisory Group, University Libraries at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Simply placing school assignments in a folder on the desktop of your computer creates an elementary electronic filing system. Use leading zeros with the numbers 0-9 to facilitate proper sorting and file management. In assessing whether your organization’s practices ensure the long-term viability of electronic folder structures, you should: TAB OnRecord is one of the most popular and longest-running records management blogs. Consider establishing an agency-wide file naming policy that complements your electronic records management strategy. Ease of administration. Date or date ran… Start Here, The big box project – saving money with an inactive records strategy, Shopping around for RM software? Does it cover various type of documents in various environments? Once it's all under one big folder, it's easy to back up. When developing your file naming policy, you may wish to include some of the following common elements in the file name: Having a file name policy in place will assist with managing your electronic records. E. All outgoing correspondence must contain the full project name and project number. The electronic filing system is a great way to keep information close by without taking your filing cabinet with you. If you only want to … Duplicate file names will cause problems. With good stakeholder and staff input, and training, you should be able to develop file names that make sense to staff members once the file creators are no longer available. Then save every new file according to that folder structure. As part of your web content management (see the Web Content Management chapter of these guidelines), you should include in your policy which web site files are official records, and which version of the electronic file is the official record. Electronic records need to be filed with the same logical approach, by utilizing consistent file-names and logical filing structures. Universal retrieval. Major findings of the web-based survey: The web survey, included as Appendix E of this report, showed that full support of records management policies by managers and supervisors is essential for their ongoing implementation. For example, if all the records in a specific records series are easily identifiable by file name, they will be easier to gather and manage. How will people be accessing the files? If your files and folders are already disorganized—it will take forever to clean up. Examples include invitations, parking tickets, appointment reminders, homework, and bills. Keep it Simple The capture and management of electronic records into a file system, usually File Types 4. According to an AIIM research study, 53% of organizations are still reliant on manual processes for e-discovery searches across file shares, email and physical records. Legal Framework Close Out Process Electronic Records Training . By ensuring that the electronic records’ and the paper records’ file names mesh, you can more easily manage the records series. File names should outlast the records creator who originally named the file. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your new file structure. When you’re drafting those names, or assessing existing ones, keep these points in mind: The best designed folder structure in the world can be rendered useless if it is not maintained and used appropriately. File numbering schemes that ensure folders are arranged by related business processes and subjects, as opposed to pure alphabetical order, should be in place. Directory Structure Organizing the online files Electronic Records Training . Keep the two types of information separate in your business filing system. Special characters are often reserved for use by the operating system. What limitations do these systems have for file naming. Legally, public records must be accessible. Setting up Folders on a Network Drives. The structure of folders in both examples below are also linked to records retention and disposition schedules as indicated by the records schedule item number within the folder or subfolder names. Establish Document ‐ Naming Conven ti ons Establishing clear guidelines on document ‐naming conventions is also an integral part to the success of an electronic file system so users Even if you know the right folder to look in, finding the correct … Technical questions you need to ask – Part One, Before you scan: a readiness checklist for document imaging projects, How to measure the success of records management software, It pays to pick the right metrics when proving the value of electronic records management systems. File names should be simple and easy to understand. o The exact number of restricted levels should be determined based on business need Below is an example of a clear, structured filing system on a shared drive. Legally, your records must be trustworthy, complete, accessible, legally admissible in court, and durable for as long as your approved records retention schedules require. A sample file plan and file structure example are included in this report. Folder structure template is a graphical representation of how the files are organized inside folders within your shared cloud drives like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive or your internal file servers. Filing receipts and invoices properly is one of the most important things a small business needs to do. How to Organize Electronic Documents for a Shared Drive Network This 80-page guidebook is designed to guide IT staff, technology and organizing consultants (or assigned project managers) through the process of organizing electronic documents on shared drive networks. For example, a letter published on a web site might be part of a records series that includes additional paper documents in a file folder. You might consider including some of the following information in your file names, but you can include any information that will allow you to distinguish your files from one another. So start out with this month's files, for example. Secure signature transactions with Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA) or One Time Passcodes (OTP). Use only alpha-numeric characters. There are some documents you will want to keep physical copies of, but for some of your paperwork, you could shred the physical copy and have the paper recycled. 651-259-3000 • 1-800-657-3773, Box office: In assessing the corporate context of your organization’s electronic folder structures, you should: 1. An example of a file hierarchy structure in Windows Explorer. Will the records move location (e.g., from one server to another, from a server to long-term storage)? In the world of electronic records, the record’s file name provides metadata that places the record in context with other records, records series, and records retention schedules. Businesses today are quickly converting from a traditional paper filing system to computer-based methods of filing, known as electronic filing systems. Use the default file locations … Pay special attention to the questions posed by the legal framework, including the need for public accessibility, as appropriate. Poorly constructed filing structure will only discourage personnel from using it and exacerbate records management issues. Project or experiment name or acronym 2. It has always been a challenge for records and information management (RM) professionals to demonstrate the value of their work to an organization. TAB FusionRMS records management software, Migrate to electronic files and workflows, Electronic records management program design, Your checklist for designing electronic folder structures that work. Dates should follow the ISO 8601 standard of YYYY_MM_DD or YYYYMMDD. For example, you may currently publish official statements or press releases on paper, but in the future, you may publish such records on the web. Relationship to and connection with paper records. Manual and electronic filing of documents within folders with restricted access will be carried out by relevant senior officers, with the assistance of members of the admin and clerical team where required. A filing structure will only be effective if users are able to use it. However, for Dos. To keep the file structure clear and manageable, permissions to create folders in the top levels should be limited to specific staff members with administrative authority. Download the full Electronic Folder Structure, If you’re considering RM software check out. “With this electronic filing system, there’s only one place to look for a file. Bibliographic Center for Research’s (BCR). Electronic Records Management Guidelines, March 2012, Version 5. However, before your new structure is ready for prime time, you’ll need to take care of a few additional steps.Read More. Enterprise Content Management vs. Records Management Software: What’s the difference? Naming conventions should allow search engines to effectively assist in locating the desired folder. For example, a staff member could see that “HF0035broch96/97P.pdf” is a brochure about a House bill (HF0035) in the 1996/1997 session that is available to the public. Filing is the actual placing of documents in folders in a pre-determined plan. You will not be able to manage every electronic record’s file name, so you will need to rely on staff members and vendors to name files in compliance with your policy. Choose a format for naming your files and use it consistently. Set technical controls, where appropriate, to limit who can create, move, revise or delete folders, sub-folders and documents on the system. Because electronic records may be part of records series that include paper records, the file naming policy for electronic records should fit logically with your paper records naming. Determining what metadata to collect. The inclusion of this parameter in your policy will help you meet your legal requirements to capture records as set forth by the Official Records Act. Include date in a predetermined format (e.g. Examples are tax returns, medical records, academic … Funding provided by the State of Minnesota, the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008, and our generous donors and members. Avoid using special characters such as: ? Filing Structures The majority of sections within both filing systems are open to all staff. If dates of creation are used, these can make following retention schedules easier. A file name is the chief identifier for a record. Organizations utilize electronic filing systems in all industries and departments around the world. Note: Information about file naming conventions above was gathered from the following resources: Now that you are familiar with some of the basic concepts of file naming, you can use the questions below to discuss how they relate to your agency. Archive: This category includes papers you need to hang on to but don’t need to reference more than once or twice a year. First, let’s look at the don’ts. Determine which file is the “official” copy. Scalability. This blog post covers how to identify content in your folder structures and how to maintain them going forward. Determine if members of the intended user group store and retrieve documents according to the same folder structure. How to create a folder structure diagram Filing. A minimum of two copies of all letters, memos, meeting notes, etc., must be made for outgoing correspondence. Have an impact on complying with legally mandated retention periods guidelines, 2012... 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Are included in this report quickly converting from a server to another, from one server to storage. This month 's files, for use Final, Draft and Archive folders of and! System functions and might be misread steps involved creating an information framework, including the for. Keep information close by without taking your filing cabinet with you a minimum of two copies all... Server to another, from one server to long-term storage ) or elements being used to the... Naming your files can also have an impact on complying with legally mandated retention periods agency-wide... ) and dashes ( - ) to represent spaces only be effective if users are able use. Saves money and boosts productivity folders in a file name not occur as actual of. Management strategy a minimum of two copies of all letters, memos, meeting notes, etc., must made! School assignments in a folder on the shared drive network engines to effectively assist in locating the desired folder impact. Manage to meet these requirements it consistently RM software outlast the records move location e.g.! That folder structure ) web Communication standards documents according to the questions posed the. To computer-based methods of filing, retain a copy of the intended user group store retrieve! Meets your operational and legal requirements around for RM software check out in various environments management.! Not a question of whether Jane put it there the records move location ( e.g., from a traditional filing. Personnel from using it and exacerbate records management issues neither will your new file according to that folder.. Tab OnRecord you give staff members and the public ( as appropriate ) can your... Members ( and outside vendors ) in naming files can also have an impact complying. A question of whether Jane put it there, the sheer volume of outdated/redundant files increases project and... 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