I recently started a consulting firm and have two clients. I am trying to ensure my internal company document management practices are sound. As of now, I save all my files (client files, contracts, invoices, etc.) on my work laptop hard drive. I have a GSuite account with Google and I separately have synced my laptop to automatically back-up all my laptop files and ask me before deleting any files from that cloud drive.
My questions are:
1) Is it good practice to keep all my business documents on my work laptop
2) Do I need an additional back-up method beyond G Suite? Should I have another mirror cloud back-up like Box or should I manually back-up documents to an external drive on a periodic basis?
3) Should I maintain hard files of key documents?
Any advice is appreciated.
1/2/3) One local and one cloud copy of each document is sufficient for most businesses. But keeping a paper copy won't hurt and can be easier to organize.
More important is developing a document retention policy and sticking to it. Use both folders and formulaic, descriptive names to ensure the records are easier to search. And if in time your records grow too big to be managed without software, you will have a well organized file to port to a software solution.
1) It's not a good practice to keep all business documents in work laptop, if hard drive crash you will lost all data .
2) If you know that your documents are important than i advice you to store them on google bucket ( its a storage service from google cloud platform ). I think you can able to get 3 page website from where you can maintain & upload all documents to bucket and you can access them from anywhere. best part is its safe with google cloud.
3) Yes you must maintain hard copy of key files . But i assure that your documents in electronic form is safe at google bucket.
If you need any technical help please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more help.
Incase of any unforseen challenges in the future it is adviced you have special back ups for all files and documents aside work laptop, you can get an archive or periodic shelf for key documents.
Hi - to parse a bit, I document management is both about the physical, HD, GSuite, etc., and the retrieval. Depending on how important it is to track history/version, you could consider records management systems that get pretty expansive. If you just need to keep the docs long enough to do the project and taxes, maybe they are not updated frequently, you can do the onsite and offsite to store them, but consider the retrieval time. If you have several to hundreds (to thousands) of gigs remotely, how long would it take to pull them back a new machine in case of upgrade (or failure!!).
Coupled with that is a good file naming methodology. It takes a lot of work to keep everything in order and much of the initial work is captured in your personal expertise, so... There is a lot of good info on ideas, but a lot of it falls on your shoulders.
And if you're wondering why you ever asked, two things - 1) it is hard and 2) as you get your processes defined, it gets a lot smoother. There is a beneficial learning curve which in my experience, interestingly helps you learn much more about your business than you ever thought you didn't know already. File management is in many ways the atomic unit of the business, so by putting in the sweat to get the information organized, you get a lot stronger.
Paper is no safer, and in many ways less safe than epaper. However, there are legal considerations on that front. Floods and fires are unkind and clouds occasionally rain.
Ideas to ponder
Keeping all his business documents in the hard drive of his computer, for me, I do not find this a very good idea. Although there is a big advantage to keeping the data in the hard drive, for example ease of access, etc ..., but the risk of loss are just as numerous.
The theft of your computer for example have you thought about it? It is true that by synchronizing your devices, you can find your data on the tablet as well as on the phone, but are you aware of online hackers who can steal and misuse your data? Have you also thought about viruses and other threats? It is certainly fundamental to use technological means to better preserve them but the traditional means such as physical paper, in case of data loss