General about file storage

Be aware that most people - including those colleagues and superiors - have never dealt with the topic of meaningful file storage and are dependent on appropriate instructions.

In the following, we will give you information on which rules have proven to be helpful and expedient in organizing file storage. The following applies: Not all instructions are useful in all cases, but the lack of clear guidelines will certainly lead to data chaos.

The aim of the orderly file storage is that for a task required Find files quickly and reliably in the current or latest version. The file storage should therefore sself-explanatory and be logical. You should at the same time both the requirements of data protection suffice, as well as flexible teamwork.

Storage of personal and public data

Personal data should be distinguished from private and public data.

Personal data:

Data that you create and use for yourself as part of your work in the company. These are for example own presentations, additional calculations with Excel or application drafts. These data are only for your eyes.

Personal information is yours and only you should have access to it. Therefore, this information should be on your personal Home drive be filed.

Public data:

In contrast, public data is provided to the general public. Anyone with appropriate authorization can access and use this data. Public data is used for cooperation in the company. These are stored, for example, in the department or project directory.

Private data:

Private data is data that is created by you as a private person and is not in an entrepreneurial context. These data require a separate regulation by the works council. They should not be on the corporate drives.

Folder structure in directories

When creating folders in your department or in your home drive, you should look at the following best practices respect, think highly of:

  • Je fewer folders are nested, the fewer clicks are requiredg,
  • JThe smaller the folder depth, the easier it is for your visual memory,
  • Maxmanufacture 5 levels, ideally 3 levels in the folder structure,
  • A10-20 folders can be located at each level to preserve the overview
  • Inested folders are not given the same name,
  • No folders without content,
  • Place application shortcuts on the desktop.

Department directories, project directories, process directories: What's coming to where?

Points to be clarified in advance

Directories are optimally designed with a focus on working in departments, projects, processes, and products. In these folders, only public data and no personal data should be stored.

line directories

Within each department (purchasing, human resources, etc.) it is advisable to use a management directory, to which only the respective department head and his deputy have access. Employee-related data is stored there, such as an overview of the billable working hours.

department directories

These relate exclusively to departmental data. These are, for example, data of the department manager, templates, forms or data for a department event.

project directories

These contain data that always relate to cross-departmental collaboration. All data relating to the project are saved in these folders, regardless of whether it is a sketch, cost table or list of contact detailspartner. All project-related data should be stored in one place.

process directories

These relate to events that repeat regularly. For example, sessions, audits, evaluations, and related protocols. When a session is over, everyone involved knows in which process folder they can find the log. Possibly. Those responsible can be informed about your ToDo with reference to the protocol by sending the file path.

system directories

These contain data on the company's core business. All data relating to the system are stored in this storage location. These are calculations, architectural sketches, temperature curves or specifications. Only people who work with the data of the respective system have access to this folder. If a technician only works with machine building A, he should only have access to their directory.

deployment locations

Here are stored temporarily (about 1 week) data, which are automatically deleted after a certain time. These directories are used for the one-time and short-term transmission of data. For example, if a colleague is to view / edit a file from a folder to which he has no regular access or needs. Transfer directories are not intended for the exchange of private data or permanent storage of data.

Public directories

These contain data that relates to the image of the company in public. As a rule, only the editors store and edit the data here. All other employees have only read access.

Home directories

Here you put down all your personal data that you need as drafts, for your information, for your personal work. For example, if your personal information is or becomes departmental, move it (the final version) to the appropriate departmental folder. The home directory should not be used to store private data.


General file naming

The file name consists of the name of the file and the file format separated by a dot. The file format is usually appended to the file name when saving by the respective program.

Ex: Reisekostenabrechnung.xls indicates that the file is named "Reisekostenabrechnung" and is in the format .xls.

When naming, only alphanumeric characters of the English alphabet (az, AZ and 0-9), as well as hyphen (-) and underscore (_) should be used. Spaces and umlauts should not be used in naming. File names with spaces can be saved. However, web servers, for example, read spaces as "% 20". The same applies to umlauts (ä, ö, ü). Therefore, there may be space issues.

The following characters are not supported when naming files: /: *? "<> |

Some characters have a special job in the IT operating system. The dot "." Is used to separate the file name from the file format. The slash is used by Windows to identify folder levels.

On Windows, the upper and lower case letters are not synonymous. Therefore, this should not find a systematic application in naming. For example, if you have an existing "SketchCustomer.docx" file under Windows, you will not be able to create a second file called Sketchbook. docx "file.

File naming (including folders) should be as short and concise as possible. The file name must not exceed a length of 256 characters. Shortcuts should be avoided as they usually can not be remembered after a long time.

If different users work with a file, the changes should be marked with a versioning. This avoids working with a wrong file version. Unnecessary file versions should be deleted. The version should be integrated in the file name. For example, at the end of the filename with "_V1" or "v001". The numbers are kept continuously. Absolutely to avoid is a version marking with "new" or "old". Only the last, final version should be marked "final".

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