An organized business is a productive business. Disorganization and chaos in any aspect of your business is likely to cause inefficient use of time, money and other resources. This type of overall inefficiency can hurt your bottom line. One of the most difficult areas to keep in line is your data. Whether this information is in paper or digital form, the forms, correspondence, reports, invoices and emails required for running your company can begin to overwhelm you if you don’t have an organizational system in place. Keep reading to discover five organization tips for companies who are buried in data.

1. Follow Your Company‘s Routine

Getting your data organized can seem like an insurmountable job. Some experts say it’s best to tackle things in small increments, taking baby steps toward completion. Others recommend taking on large jobs like implementing a new paper filing system all at once. It is usually best for a business to choose to begin organization in a way that fits with the rest of their daily routine. For example, your employees may be accustomed to assembling each Wednesday morning for a staff meeting. This might be an ideal time to set aside an extra half hour to enlist the help of everyone to pitch in with the backlog of filing. As those with an MBA in leadership online likely know, accommodating existing routines is an efficient method for achieving goals.

2. Consult Key Stakeholders

Developing a data organizational system isn’t a one-person job. It’s important to bear in mind that staff members from across the organization likely use customer files, invoices, inventory sheets and contracts in different ways. Gather the head of each department within your company together to compare notes on the ways in which they utilize information. Also, discuss aspects of organization such as preferred method for creating file names and other such search criteria. This type of input is crucial to creating systems that make sense.

3. Make Decisions

After you have consulted co-workers, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. You should now have a good idea of whether you will be filing information by date, first or last name, invoice number, account manager name or by fiscal quarter. It’s likely you will develop a unique approach for different types of data, and that’s just fine. The key is to be consistent.

4. Spread the Word

Consistency depends upon everyone being on the same page. That’s why the next step in data organization is so important. All employees in your organization need to be informed of the new organizational systems and how to use them. Decide whether to conduct training by department or whether a memo will suffice. What’s important is that everyone understands the new system and utilizes it in a consistent manner.

5. Schedule Maintenance

If you want to keep your newly devised organizational system working for you, it’s absolutely crucial that everyone take part in maintaining it. Set up a maintenance schedule for each type of document or group of information. Task department managers with monitoring the maintenance routine of their employees in order to be sure systems are staying up-to-date. Without vigilance in this area, your company will soon find itself facing data overwhelm once again.

These five organization tips should be a good start to helping you get a handle on your data and paperwork. Enlist the assistance of your employees and communicate throughout the process. Doing so will make things much easier than you imagined.

About Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.