How to Organise Office Files: Tips & Tricks

December 7, 2023


What is a Paper Based Filing System?

A paper-based filing system involves the physical organisation of documents using paper files and folders. While it offers tangible accessibility and security, it comes with drawbacks like space and storage costs, limited accessibility, vulnerability to damage, inefficient search, and challenges in collaboration. In contrast to this traditional approach, digital document management systems, like FreeDocs, provide a more efficient and flexible way to store, manage, and access documents in the modern business environment.

How To Organise Paper Files At Work

Types of Filing Systems

Category-Based System

The category-based filing system organises documents by content or purpose for easy retrieval and logical organisation. It streamlines workflow, reduces errors, and aids compliance but can be further enhanced by transitioning to a digital document management system like Storetec’s FreeDocs, offering instant access, robust search capabilities, and improved collaboration.

Colour-Coded System

The colour-coded filing system assigns distinct colours to different categories or document types, simplifying document organisation. This method speeds up document retrieval and minimises errors, as employees can quickly identify and locate the right documents by their designated colours.

Alphabetical System

The alphabetical filing system arranges documents in alphabetical order based on name, title, or keyword. This straightforward approach makes document retrieval simple and efficient. Users can quickly locate specific documents by referencing their position in the alphabetical sequence, making it an easy and user-friendly filing method.

Best Practices For Paper Filing

Create a Policy for Regular Filing

Establishing a policy for regular filing ensures that documents are consistently organised and maintained. Assign responsibilities and set guidelines for document handling to maintain an efficient paper filing system.

Take GDPR Into Account

Compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is crucial. Ensure that your paper documents containing sensitive information are securely stored and only accessible by authorised personnel. For more insights on this topic, read our blog post on how GDPR affects your paper documents.

Ensure There are Backups

Having backup copies of paper documents is essential to prevent loss or damage due to unforeseen events like fire or water damage. However, it’s worth noting that making physical can be expensive and poses risks of deterioration over time, making digitisation an attractive solution.

Master the Art of Efficient Filing

Embrace Digital Transformation

The cornerstone of efficient filing is going digital. Transition your physical documents into digital format using professional scanning services like those offered by Storetec.

Leverage FreeDocs

FreeDocs, Storetec’s proprietary cloud-based document management system, is a game-changer. Renowned for its powerful OCR search capabilities, you can utilise its user-friendly interface to organise, access, and manage your digital documents effortlessly.

Folder Structure Automation

In FreeDocs, create a logical folder structure with clear, concise names and hierarchies. This structure will be your map to finding documents swiftly. Storetec can replicate your physical file structure in digital format. Also, with the file structure automation feature in FreeDocs, you can create shortcuts to create an entire folder structure in one click.

Document Metadata

Document metadata plays a critical role in document organisation and retrieval. Storetec’s expertise ensures your documents have the relevant tags, keywords, and dates to make searching easy. This makes your document management system efficient and easily searchable, saving you time and resources.

Batch Scanning

When scanning physical documents, batch them by type of department. Storetec’s scanning service ensures seamless organisation when integrated with FreeDocs.

Automated Retention Management

Automate the retention process wherever possible. FreeDocs can do this for you, reducing manual tasks and saving time.

Scheduled Scanning

Establish a routine scanning schedule to prevent a backlog of physical documents. Regular digitisation keeps your system up to date.

User Training

Utitlise Storetec’s free hands-on training with your dedicated account manager to go through the system and its capabilities, to make the most of FreeDocs. Familiarity with the system will lead to efficient filing and retrieval. Training is ongoing if you hire new staff or just need a reminder.

Cloud Document Management

Investing in a cloud document management system, like FreeDocs, delivers unmatched advantages:

Universal Access

Access your documents from anywhere, anytime, thanks to the cloud. This promotes remote work and collaboration.

Effortless Search

FreeDocs employs OCR technology for efficient text searches within documents. Our advanced search features, including Multi-Field Search, enable precise searches by various criteria. Plus, FreeDocs ensures lightning-fast searching of over 300 million images in under 4 seconds, boosting your productivity.

Version Control

Keep track of document versions seamlessly with FreeDocs’ version control tool.

Increased Security

Hosted on a UK-based server, FreeDocs uses robust encryption of data in transit and at rest, access controls, and regular security audits and cyber security penetration testing to safeguard your data. Our commitment to data security is demonstrated through our ISO 270001, ISO 22301, and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditations, so you can rest assured that your data is in good hands.

Disaster Recovery

FreeDocs offers disaster recovery by reducing paper reliance and providing secure digital storage. In case of data loss due to events like natural disasters or hardware failures, cloud-based backups ensure document recovery, minimising downtime and data loss risks.


Say farewell to physical storage costs. Cloud storage is a cost-effective long-term solution. Reduce paper reliance, allowing substantial cost savings on storage, printing, and supplies, and free up valuable office space.


Efficient filing is the basis of streamlined operations, and FreeDocs can take your business to new heights. Harness these tops and tools to cut time on filing, enhance productivity, and reduce costs.

Discover how FreeDocs cloud document management services can transform your document management. Explore our offerings and take the first step toward a more efficient future. At Storetec, we’re here to help you unlock the full potential of your document management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can revolutionise your workflow.

Related Posts

FreeDocs achieves UK Government G-Cloud 12 framework status
October 12, 2020
Note: As of May 2024, Storetec’s ‘FreeDocs’ software has been updated to MDI Cloud. Read about the upgrades and feature…
Document Management Jargon – What is OCR, ICR and OMR?
February 11, 2022
Read our guide to better understand document management jargon. Learn how OCR, ICR, and OMR technologies revolutionise data processing.
The New Office Paradigm
October 12, 2022
Discover how Storetec can support your organisation in adapting to changing workplace dynamics. Learn more now.