Have you ever had that moment where you put something in a “safe place” so you won’t lose it, but when you actually need the item, you can’t remember where that “safe place” is? This happens to me more often than I’d like to admit and if I had just created an organized system for my important items, I wouldn’t lose them in the first place. The same principle can apply to the files, documents, and photos stored in your CRM software. If you don’t have a system in place for organization, you will have a hard time finding these items when you really need them.
When we transitioned over to using Hubspot as our CRM software, we wanted to start off strong and create a system for organization that could be used so we could quickly find an item regardless of if we were in our own portal or in one of our clients’ portals.
By creating this system, any one of our team members or clients will be able to find items, even if they did not upload the items themselves.
Although our system is specific to Hubspot, it can apply to any CRM or other system you use to store files, documents, or photos used by your entire team. By creating specific ways to name and store all the files in your CRM, you will be able to quickly locate any photo or document you need at any given time.
If you are trying to organize your own system, but are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, or are just looking to update your current organization system, we have come up with some practical guidelines.
We used these guidelines when developing our organizational system and naming constructs for the Hubspot CRM and they have worked well to keep everyone on the same organized page.
1) Create separate categories for the items you manage
Each file, document, or photo in your file manager should be able to be separated into categories. We chose to use 5 different categories to organize our file manager:
- Hubspot Materials
- CTA Buttons
- Blog Images
These categories allow us to create separate folders for each offer, blog post, email, etc. and quickly find where each folder is located.
We recommend creating enough categories that you can easily separate and sort your items, but not so many that your main file manager page gets crowded, since that will defeat the purpose of clean organization.
2) Create naming conventions and stick to them
By creating a structure for naming conventions for your files, you make it so any team member who accesses your company CRM can find a file, photo, or document within your file manager.
Although some of these names may seem repetitive or obvious, it helps to create an organized system and saves time for you and your team members.
For example, when we name images saved under our CTA category, we name them based on where the CTA is used followed by a brief description of the actual CTA:
- CTA - Like us on Facebook, CTA - MWF Download Offer
As another example, in our Offers category, we made folders for each specific offer we create. Every material associated with that offer goes into its own folder so that it is quick and easy to find.
By creating these specific naming conventions for folders and files within each category, anyone will be able to find and use all the files in your file manager.
3) Sort dates by year, month, day
When choosing naming conventions for your files, we always recommend including a date in the naming convention. This allows you and your team to easily sort your files based on a date. However, instead of the typical month, day, year order, we instead recommend you use year, month, day.
By using year as the first number, you can sort all your files by year. If you use month first, your files will be jumbled up and have a unorganized order in your file manager.
For example, we use the following naming conventions for our blog category in our file manager:
- Blog Images (Folder) > Year > Month > Year/Month - Blog Title > Add any photos in file
- Ex: Blog Images > 2017 > 05 > 201705 - First page of Google > add any photos used in that blog
This allows us to quickly find any images or other files used in any of our blog articles because we name each file based on the year the blog was published, the month it was published in that year, and the subject of each blog post.
We use the same order when naming our emails and any files or photos associated with these emails for a similar reason.
4) Continue to sort and update your files in your file manager
The final recommendation we can give for having an organized file manager in your CRM is to stay on top of updating it. Every time you add a file, take a moment to ensure you put it in its proper place with the correct name.
There’s no point in taking the time to create a system and organize your entire file manager if you are not going to continue to update and stay on top of new files.
While our organizational structure and guidelines are based on the Hubspot file manager, the same ideas can be applied to any file manager you use, be it a CRM system or internal files for your company.
If everyone on your team is on the same page with categories, naming constructs, and date structure, you will be able to easily and quickly find any file you need, without having that awful moment of forgetting where you saved a file for “safekeeping”.
Interested in learning more about using Hubspot as your CRM software? Contact us for a free consultation to see if Hubspot would be a good fit for your business!