Is your file organization currently a hot mess?
Sweet, mine was too.
While this is definitely up there for not the most interesting topic in online business, being able to actually find your files and documents is kinda important to an efficiently running business, so I’m going to take your behind the scenes to see how I organize all my business stuff.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first things first is…
Back in the day I had a ‘Business’ folder on my desktop in which I’d throw everything, and then organize within it.
This didn’t go well for 2 reasons.
I started creating videos for my blog and courses and soon I completely filled the storage of my computer. Enter an external hard drive. Which I then would NEVER get around to plugging in and finding the file I wanted and would just recreate stuff because I was too lazy to get up, find the hard drive, plug it in, and search through it.
I brought on team members, who needed access to all my files and documents too.
I didn’t love the idea of purchasing storage space in some system like the Apple Cloud or Google Drive because it’s a recurring expense forever, whereas a hard drive is a one-time payment.
Well, seeing the fact I never used my external hard drive, I basically made a one-time payment for nothing, so I decided to go with an online storage system that I’d actually use instead.
I use the professional GSuite for my business email and it comes with Google Drive storage, so I went with that.
Once in Google Drive, I set up the following folders which tends to cover every possible type of file or document.
Let me explain a bit about what exactly each of those is for and how I organize the different bits inside them.
Internal is for any documents or files that are related to my business which don’t fall into the other categories. Inside it I have a folder for:
Affiliate stuff (logins, my affiliate links, details on different affiliate programs, affiliate contracts, etc.)
Hiring & onboarding
My logo & brand files
Opt-in gifts (a copy of every opt-in gift and the editable file used to create it)
Sorted into folders of the name of the photographer who took the photos and then by date if I worked with a photographer multiple times, like Sarah Ann
Physical receipts (I keep copies of all receipts, including photos of physical ones for tax purposes)
Site content (site graphics, background colors, fonts, etc.)
Square Studio plugins (that’s an affiliate link!)
This is everything I need to hold on to that’s not necessarily for my business. For example, if I create a PowerPoint to be used during an online summit I’m a part of, or I write the content for a guest post, it goes in here.
This folder holds all the content and planning docs for my marketing efforts. That includes sub-folders for:
Whenever I take an online course or join some sort of educational program, my notes documents, and files from the course all go in here. I’ve divided the folder up into sub-folders, each one named with the course/program it’s for.
Inside those folders I break the files up into:
Content (eg. all the videos of each course module)
Feedback & reviews
Course site files (site graphics, background colors, fonts, student website screenshots, student testimonial headshots, etc.)
Student documents (the workbooks, checklists, and documents shared with students)
As I’m not offering services at the moment, this folder is rather empty, but back in the day I would have a folder for each client in here.
This technically could go into the Internal folder, but I found myself needing photos for IG so frequently, that using my phone and going from Internal > Photos > IG Photos was too much effort, so I pulled it out and gave it it’s own primary folder.
Now that everything has a really logical place, it’s easy for both myself and my team to quickly find what we’re looking for and know where to put stuff.
I hope knowing how I’m organizing my files and docs really helps you out to manage yours too!