• Written by Lynn Greenwood
    16 June 2014

For some people creating and storing files in the cloud is like throwing their data into a bottomless pit. Never to be seen or found again.

This is the second in a new series of short posts by Lynn Greenwood, Akvo’s technical support guru-ess. It’s really intended for the Akvo team, but it might be of interest to other people too. Most of the IT systems Akvo uses are modern cloud-based and Mac/PC-based ones. So we’re all learning as we go. Illustration by Linda Leunissen.

This is the problem that Akvo has now encountered. We have grown as an organisation and have people from all different types of professional backgrounds, saving files wherever and however they feel is the most logical to them. Unfortunately, it may not be that logical to others in the team.

The key to any filing system is to keep it simple. Use a file naming convention, such as the one we have just implemented, ensuring that the relevant key information is used.

Also, have an open mind about how files should be stored and retrieved. The old system of having to know the exact file path to the folder containing the file you need, is not necessarily the best or most logical way anymore. Most cloud file storage provides you with more than adequate search functionality.

Approach searching for a file in the same way you would Google information on the web. You don’t always know exactly what you are looking for, but you select certain key words or phrases to find what you need. The same applies to files.

Dropbox has a search box which can be expanded into an ‘advanced search’ specifying a phrase or particular words which the file may contain. Similarly, Google Drive’s search options can be expanded by selecting the down arrow in the search box.

This is also true for newer email clients and file search options on local hard drives.