Updated November 2021
It’s no longer news that cloud computing is rapidly becoming the new norm. It’s only a matter of time before all our activities on the internet shift to the cloud completely. A particular activity leading the shift to cloud computing is document storage and data management. And you’ll agree with us that literacy on document storage and cloud operations is becoming paramount to modern computing.
That said, as we move on, we’ll look at what a document management system is. It’s essential to cover these basics to comprehend the cloud document storage tips we’ll discuss later in this post.
What is a Document Management System?
A simple way to put it is: a document management system is a software for managing documents and keeping them for future use. You can use these systems to capture, edit, digitize, sign, secure, rotate, track, store, organize, tag, securely share and display documents. We also like to think of them as knowledge management systems. The interesting part is, most (if not all) of these systems are automated. So you won’t have to do much.
There are three major types of document storage systems. The traditional hardcover paper jacket files and cabinets were the original document storage systems. But almost nobody uses them anymore for obvious reasons. They’re too cumbersome and have far greater risks of data loss or theft than the subsequent systems.
The second type is the computer storage system which you should already be very much familiar with. These systems store digitized copies of documents on hardware storage devices. Computer storage systems are still very much in use. However, they’re gradually transcending from hardware storage devices to the cloud.
Cloud storage systems are databases hosted on cloud servers in which you can store your documents. For most parts, these systems are automated web applications or software that can process and arrange data. Plus, you can access them from any device with a connection to the internet. In other words, you can access your documents anywhere at any time on the internet.
10 Must-Know Cloud Document Storage Tips
At this point, you should be somewhat familiar with how online file storages work. If you use iOS devices, you will have some of your stuff on the iCloud already. Even if you don’t use iOS devices, you probably have some of your documents stashed on similar cloud services. Since you’re already familiar with it, what more do you need to learn?
There’s more for you to learn about how online storages work and the best hacks for storing or sharing your documents. So, let’s take a look at some of those tips that can make you the boss of cloud computing. Or at least be able to use cloud file storage systems and their applications effectively.
1. Choose Your Cloud Service Provider Carefully
Everything starts with choosing the right cloud service provider for your document storage. You should not have a problem with this if you use iOS devices. Your default cloud service provider will be iCloud, of course. However, you can also choose to use other cloud file storage services.
However, you want to be meticulous when picking your service provider for individuals using other devices or databases. For example, if you’re working in a team, you’ll need to collaborate and share large files with your team members on the go. Therefore, you’ll need a flexible cloud storage service that will facilitate secure document sharing and team collaboration.
A good example is Sizle. Sizle is a platform for editing, managing, storing, and sharing documents securely online. With Sizle, you and your team can collaborate effortlessly on multiple documents on the go. The platform is flexible, and the features are straightforward to use.
2. Make the Cloud Your Default Document Storage Location
Again, this is a feature already enabled on some devices, so you may not need to worry about it. Regardless, you want to be sure to save all your documents directly to your cloud storage system. This action helps prevent any risk of losing your documents in offline storage. It also ensures you have access to the most recent version of the document saved on the internet every time you log in.
Also, it’s about time you ditch the habit of saving your documents on a hardware storage device before uploading to cloud storage. Saving your work to the cloud directly saves you the hassles of having to do a cloud backup all over for the documents. And it’ll ensure your documents are backed up at all times.
3. Sync Your Device and Cloud Storage System
What happens when you have no internet connection but still need to store documents on the cloud? Most cloud storage systems allow you to sync your account with your devices. Doing this enables their autosave functions. These functions will autosave your work on your device and upload them to the cloud storage the minute you get internet connectivity.
The sync settings will depend on the cloud storage system you’re using. Most systems make it easy to find. Usually, you’ll find it in the settings menu, and the instructions will be pretty straightforward. Set it to automatically save files in the cloud storage program on your device when you’re offline. Doing that should automatically set it to sync when you’re back online.
4. Encrypt Documents with Sensitive Information
Telling you not to save documents with sensitive information on the cloud storage will sound counterintuitive. So, we’ll not ask you to do that. However, we can’t deny the fact that the cloud is not the safest storage space around. Cloud storage accounts are susceptible to phishing and hacking attempts, among many other things.
Therefore sensitive information such as passwords, secret codes, personal information, etc., are best kept offline. However, there’s still an excellent way of safeguarding your sensitive information on cloud storage systems. Whenever you upload documents to the cloud storage, ensure to encrypt them.
Some cloud storage systems automatically encrypt the files you upload. However, you don’t want to rely on only that. There’s nothing wrong with having double encryption on your documents to safeguard your private information.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication
If your cloud storage system supports two-factor authentication, please enable it. It’s a top-tier security program that ensures nobody can gain access to your account without your permission. That’s unless the individual also has access to your phone or email address. However, the chances of that happening are very slim.
The 2FA works by sending an authentication code to you via SMS or an Authentication app each time anyone accesses your account. This way, the service verifies that you’re aware of the attempted access and that you authorize it. Most web apps, SaaS products, and cloud computing services now offer 2FA. So you don’t have to worry about how you’ll set it up. You can rest assured that your documents are safe from malicious attempts.
Enabling a 2FA also ensures secure file sharing and document collaboration. Even if you’re sharing large files, it prevents unauthorized tampering and third-party influence.
6. Declutter Your Cloud Storage
Remember when you needed to find a document but couldn’t remember its name, so you looked at each document in the storage to find it? Was it easy? Especially with all the documents cluttered together without any form of organization. Almost all of us are guilty of just dumping all our documents in the file storage. We seldom bother to organize our documents properly in storage.
Most times, the system helps us to sort the documents by date of modification. Thankfully, most storage has the ‘sort’ feature, which allows you to sort your documents by specific parameters. Regardless, it’s always better to have a proper system of arranging our documents in the file storage. Moreover, having such a system makes it easier to find files whenever we need them.
The convenience of cloud storage takes the work out of file backup and recovery. However, you also need to take the initiative to organize the space.
7. Use Folders and Use Them Properly
Just like a computer storage system, a cloud storage service will also allow you to create folders. To arrange your files correctly, it first begins with creating folders to group the documents.
However, just creating folders is not enough; you’ll end up dumping the files in them, and they’ll still be lacking structure. First, you want to categorize all your files into different groups. The best grouping method is by project type. Documents that belong to the same or similar projects will be in the same folders. You can also group by date, old-to-new, and names, whatever works for you and your team.
Then you want to standardize the folder names. Establish an effective naming convention that’ll make it easy for people to identify the folders and their contents. It’s not practical if others can’t tell the content of a folder just by the name of the folder.
8. Audit Your Documents
Run regular checks on your documents to see who’s been accessing them. It’s one of the boring parts of the job, and you’ll most probably forget about it, so set a reminder for it now. Regular auditing helps you to keep tabs on all your documents and see other people’s activities on them. In addition, it keeps you in the know about the state of your documents.
Regular auditing also helps with decluttering your storage space. It enables you to identify outdated documents that are no longer useful, and you can easily remove them.
9. Share Links Not Files
An advantage of storing your documents on the cloud is how it makes document sharing easy and secure. This method takes away the need to share PDF files via email to your team members. Instead, you can add them to a group with secure access to the file, or you can send them links.
You also don’t have to worry about large files taking too long to transfer or send. Anybody with a link to the document will at least be able to view the document. And if you grant the permission, they should be able to edit and comment on the document. This system enables content collaboration between team members.
Plus, team members with secure links will always have access to the most recent version of the document. So, you don’t have to resend the document to them after every edit. Instead, they simply need to click the link, and they’ll be able to view all the new changes on the document.
10. Annotate Directly on Files
Annotations provide more clarification on the content of a document. You can also use them to provide feedback, comments, and verdicts on the content of a document. The annotation feature on most cloud document storage systems allows you to comment on any file. It doesn’t matter whatever the file format is.
You don’t need to download the document before leaving your comments. All you need is the link to the document and for the owner to update its permission setting to allow commenting. Then, simply click on anywhere in the document file to leave a text annotation on the region when annotating.
However, as effective as the annotation feature is, most people fail to use it. Instead, they prefer to send their feedback via mail or other modes of communication. Sending feedback through other means won’t convey the message in a way that’s as descriptive as through annotations.
Annotations display the feedback alongside the region the feedback is addressing. So, it helps the author know exactly what you’re commenting on.
Using a cloud document storage service is a smart move because it allows you to access your documents anytime.
Solutions like Sizle offer a simplified document workflow and storage system with a wide variety of features. It enables easy collaboration for teams, secure communications, and a secure file transfer service. In addition, you can rest assured your documents are in safe clouds.