Here is a sampling of the various types of documents that businesses deal with everyday…
Contracts, agreements, invoices, checks, receipts, promissory notes, delivery notes, credit and debit notes, policies, SOPs, manuals, emails, RFP / RFQ / RFI (Request for Proposal / Quotation / Information), change requests, technical specs, QA scripts, letters, minutes, marketing materials (fliers, leaflets, brochures), pictures or images, project’s dashboards, snapshots or Gantt charts, forecast / budget spreadsheets, business cases, presentations, templates, business cards…
The list is endless… It is a small sample of the most commonly used documents in a majority of the companies worldwide. Just imagine – what would happen if you did not apply some order to them? It would be a chaos, wouldn’t it?
Applications like Sohodox – the powerful electronic Document Management System (DMS) from ITAZ – offers specific features to help your business organize and manage the plentiful volume of documents. Two of these features are Folders and Tags. You can arrange documents in folders or quickly classify documents by attaching tags to them.
Similar though they sound, Folders and Tags are not the same; they refer to different concepts. However, both of them are focused on the same principle: organization! Combining them makes them even more powerful.
Folders allow hierarchical categorization of documents, but each document can only belong to a single folder. On the other hand, Tags do not offer hierarchical categorization but one single document can be tagged multiple times for deeper identification.
Folders in Sohodox behave very similar to folders in Windows Explorer. You can create unlimited folders and sub-folders to quickly categorize your documents. Or you can easily import and re-create your existing folder structure from your hard drive. Once created, simply drag & drop your documents to them. To retrieve a document all you need to do is navigate to the folder and find your document.
In some cases, you may need to manage the same folder structure for each customer. By using the Clone feature you will have to create the folder structure just once and then clone (copy) this structure whenever you want!
You will be the owner of the folders that you have created. You can also share these folders and documents with other users, while at the same time, place your confidential or personal documents in a Private folder which only you can access.
It is important to add that when you create a Sohodox folder, no folder is being created on your system as such. Sohodox folders are just used to categorize your documents – not store them. All your documents are stored in the database’s File Store.
You can even export Sohodox folders along with all the sub-folders and documents to any destination on your local disk, while retaining the folder hierarchy.
Tags are basically keywords that can be attached to any document. Tagging is a quick way of indexing your documents, so that they can be searched, sorted or grouped based on their tags you attached to them. Multiple tags can be attached to the same document (just use a semicolon to separate them). Each tag must be a single word and must not contain spaces.
Suppose your business has multiple Departments and you want to structure the tags so that every Dept. has its own set of tags. To do this, you can write the name of each Department (or some abbreviation) followed by a dot – no spaces – and then the type of tag. For instance: Sales.Urgent; Sales.Important; Mktg.Urgent; Mktg.Important, and so forth. By doing so, under the Tags node all Tags for a Department will line up together. You can use the same approach for multiple hierarchies by using multiple dots (e.g. US.NY.Sales).
Here are some tips to keep in mind while tagging a document:
- Enter words that describe the document (e.g. email, fax, invoice, customer name, etc.)
- Use words that an average user would normally type to look for a document
- Use words that mean the same (e.g. invoice, bill)
For example, for an invoice received from Acme Corp. for the month of January, the tags should be words like ‘invoice’, ‘bill’, ‘January’, ‘Acme’, etc.
You can also drag & drop documents from your disk to a Tag, and then select a Tag from the Tags node to view the documents attached to it.
In spite of what was mentioned before, you can still simulate some sort of hierarchical categorization (like folders) in Tags by using a specific notation (see Text Box). With this notation in Tags, your business would obtain some of the benefits of Folders while still only using Tags.
Finally, if you have lots of tags – or folders – you can quickly search them by holding the “Ctrl+J” (Jump to) buttons on the keyboard, entering your search criteria, selecting from the results and hitting Enter.
To conclude, you can easily avoid document chaos! A combination of folders and tags in Sohodox is a powerful way to organize and manage your documents.