Creating a Filing Structure For Your Home Office
Do you just save stuff anywhere on your computer?
It will save you time (and I mean lots of time) if you have an organised filing structure. You will need to create (and write up) a simple filing structure. I hear you say, but where do I start. A good strategy is to decide on two main categories that all your files will fit into. For example it might be “Household” and “Personal”. Then create as many folders as you require under each of the household and personal categories. Keep it simple to be effective.
Simple Filing Structure
The most effective filing system is simple and easily achievable. It’s the one that is written down on paper and agreed to. Whatever structure you implement in your home office it will work best when it’s consistent and followed by everyone in your business/family.
Replicate Your Filing Structure
To take it one step further – mirror/copy your computer systems filing and replicate it in your hard copy system. Type up a list of your filing system, print it out and hang it in view of your computer and files. You will have organised paper work and consistent filing systems in both electronic and hard copy in no time at all.
Another issue that is really important with regards to computers is security. It another blog article I wrote about setting up and managing your home computer.
Internet Security and Virus Protection
Internet security and virus protection is just as important on home computers as it is on business computers. If you get a virus on your computer and it deletes all your files off, then you won’t need to worry about a filing structure. So our goal is to avoid this situation.
Make sure it is current and working correctly. There are some cost effective virus protection programs on the market such as AVG, Norton. We use Trend PC Cillon which I find to be really reliable. If you need some assistance, then organise for your IT technician to purchase and install one for you. At The Lifestylers Group, we work with a range of computer technicians that do this sort of thing, so if you need some assistance, then we are only a call away.
Don’t learn the hard way. It is essential that your virus protection is working.
If you have wireless internet connection at home (or in the office) it is vital that the network is locked down so no one else can access it. If it is unlocked people in the surrounding neighborhood can log onto your internet connection and use your internet. Unsecure networks makes it easy for people to hack into network and access data such as bank account log in details.
It’s also really important to have a policy for how you handle suspect emails. This becomes particularly important when there are different family members using the same computer and receiving emails. If you see a suspect email “doing the rounds” let the other uses know not to open it, and delete it straight off the computer.
Always be wary of files that have the following wording EXC after the file name. These files are called executable files and often contain virus. Organising your home security is such an important part of owning a computer.
So do you need to check your internet security and virus protection after reading this article.
By Melissa Morey, Professional Organiser