What Is File Management? Definitions, Benefits & Tools





Future of Work

What is file management? File management, in its simplest form, refers to the process of organizing and controlling data files stored on the cloud, or a device, such as a computer or smartphone. Virtual filing systems involve the way files are named, stored, retrieved, and organized.

The situation is all too familiar: you know the file you need, if only you could find it! The file could be in your inbox, desktop, or maybe someone else has a more recent version?

You unnecessarily waste time when you’re spending hours searching through work files. Different types of filing then become a roadblock that's entirely avoidable.

How can we avoid doing deep dives into unknown folders? For starters, it doesn't involve plumbing the depths of inboxes or shared drives.

Read on to learn more establishing an effective file management system for your project management!

What are the benefits of a file management system?

When left to their own devices, each worker will likely organize their documents and files in their own way - some may be similar to each other, while others may be wildly unique.

A good file system will standardize the organization of information so everyone is familiar with the structure and location of documents. It should also make the information more accessible so it can be used more easily.

You’ll be able to leverage the following benefits when implementing structured file management:

  • Improved organization: Systematically organized work files are easy to locate and access when needed. You can also prevent duplicate files taking up unnecessary storage space.
  • Increased productivity: When virtual files are easy to find and manage, you waste less time searching for them thus improving effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Version control: A virtual filing system often includes version control features. Use version control to track changes, revert to previous versions, and prevent accidental overwrites.
  • Scalability: As your organization grows, so does the amount of data. A good file management system can scale with your needs, making it easy to manage an increasing number of files.

With an intuitive structure, new team members will be able to pick up on how things are done more quickly and anyone can find important details without needing to bother another team member.

File management makes asynchronous work easier

Asynchronous work is a work style that allows team members to complete their tasks and communicate on their own schedules, rather than requiring immediate responses or actions. In other words, work doesn't have to happen in real-time or face-to-face. Team members can contribute whenever they can or prefer, within agreed-upon deadlines.

Structured virtual file systems help keep your team on the same page. Whether team members log on at 6am or 6pm, they don’t have to ping a coworker to find an important work files.

Well organized files are a must for asynchronous work to succeed. Synchronous communication becomes needed when people can't access important information in their own time. Subsequently, certain team members block work progress when others can’t find their files

A well organized file system provides structure and an intuitive arrangement of important documentation. You won’t need to wait for a coworker to log on to get information because information is easy for you to retrieve and use.

Sharing is caring for your work files

A logical grouping of folders and files makes information more navigable that people outside your organization — like clients and freelancers. In today’s interconnected world, it shouldn’t be a hassle to connect outsiders to your teams digital file organization.

The correct file management system makes it easier to loop key stakeholders in. Any invited person can review and revise files wherever they can connect to the internet. Hosting your work files on the cloud also means that you won’t need to track multiple versions of the same file.

When external partners are more involved in the review and editing of files, the flow of communication is better and you can be confident that you’re delivering a better product.

6 Popular File Management Systems That You Can Use For Free

In an era where digital data is integral to our daily operations, the importance of efficient file management cannot be overstated.

Whether you're an individual trying to keep your personal documents in order, a small business owner juggling multiple tasks, or a team leader coordinating collaborative projects, reliable documentation management systems can be a game-changer.

Fortunately, the market offers a variety of robust virtual filing systems that are not only user-friendly but also free to use. Next up, we'll delve into six popular free file management systems that can help with staying organized at work.

1. Rock

Rock features a file management system that enables teams to store files in multiple different formats through the files mini-app. Every project space comes with file storage where your team can store relevant work files in a single place.

Any file that is uploaded to the chat, notes and topics mini-apps also become easily retrievable from within the files mini-app.

Rock file management system preview with images, files and documents in a collaborative space

Rock also features free cloud integrations with file management systems such as Figma, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Adobe CC and Smartsheet to Rock spaces. These files can then directly be added into individual task cards, notes and topics.

🚀 Run any project on Rock, work together within seconds and stop switching between different apps to get work done. Try it out for free!
Rock virtual filing system preview with example integrations to Google Drive and Dropbox

2. Google Drive

Google Drive is readily available to just about anyone with internet access. With it, you can upload documents to your Drive or create new ones. You can store documents, work files and folders in the cloud; readily available for everyone.

When you give team members or clients access to files, you can determine whether they’ll just be able to view the file (good for clients or final drafts) or if allow them to edit the work files. This ensures only the appropriate people are making changes to documents.

🚀 Rock offers a free integration with Google Drive in every project space. Add relevant folders and attach documents to tasks, notes and topics for easy access. Try it out for free!
File system Google Drive preview with an example workspace and individual work files and other documents

3. Dropbox

Dropbox provides a centralized file management system that’s cloud-based. Tailor your organization structure and file hierarchy to your team’s needs and workflows with a customizable system.

With these features, you can ensure that file organization is easy to understand. Additionally, you can navigate and track different versions of work files because edits are synced almost instantaneously.

🚀 Rock has a free file management integration with Dropbox in every project space. Attach folders and documents to tasks, notes and topics for seamless project management workflows. Try it out for free!
virtual file system Dropbox preview with design files, assets and creative briefs

4. OneDrive

With Microsoft’s OneDrive, workers can access files anywhere since it is also a cloud-based file management system. OneDrive enables people to edit, share and collaborate more easily. OneDrive also connects seamlessly with some organizational platforms.

Think of Word, Powerpoint and Excel easily integrated into your documentation management systems.

🚀 Rock offers a free file system integration with OneDrive in every project space. Add relevant folders and attach documents to tasks, notes and topics for easy access. Try it out for free!
Virtual filing system OneDrive preview with multiple folders, work documents and video files

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a cloud-based platform that combines elements of project management, task collaboration, and a file management system into one versatile tool. Teams can plan, capture, manage, automate, and report on projects, all while storing and organizing related files and documents.

A spreadsheet-like interface allows users to navigate and manage data. Robust file management ensures that all project-related files are easily accessible and securely stored.

🚀 Rock offers a free file management integration with Smartsheet in every project space. Add relevant folders and attach documents to tasks, notes and topics for easy access. Try it out for free!
Documentation management system Smartsheet preview with different views and selected items within a team collaboration environmenti

6. Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace that combines elements of note-taking, database management, project management, and digital file organization into one platform.

Individuals can create, share, and manage a wide range of content, from simple notes to complex projects. Within its user-friendly interface, Notion's file management system enables users to store, organize, and access related files and documents.

🚀 Rock offers a free work files integration with Notion in every project space. Add relevant folders and attach documents to tasks, notes and topics for easy access. Try it out for free!
File management system notion product preview with different documents in a workspace such as marketing launch, workspaces update and others

Streamline your digital file organization

Introducing streamlined file management can make your team’s everyday lives easier and less stressful.

Pat yourself in the back if you already have a unified system in place and have avoided different types of filing. But remember, simply having a file management system in place isn’t enough. Your documentation should be optimized to work with other remote work tools and your team, aligning with your workflows and always remaining intuitive.

With a digital file organization, you can empower your team by giving them convenient access to the information they need. With the right information at their fingertips, they can boost their productivity and streamline their work.

Since they can get relevant work files and folders whenever they need to, your team can eliminate roadblocks and extra steps from the process.

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