Save Files in the Right Spot From the Start

September 27, 2023

Save Files in the Right Spot From the Start

One glance at your file explorer probably reveals a pretty messy workspace. Files saved on your desktop, dumped into the Documents folder, lingering in Downloads… these default locations are, well, the default, so files inevitably end up getting saved in these generic spots instead of their ideal home.

Although it might be initially faster to save files in these places, it costs workers more time in the long run. When they need to find a file it means lots of searching, scrolling, and hunting for specific files, and even once it's found there’s no assurance it’s the most recent or accurate version. Most importantly, those locally-saved files remain trapped on a single user’s device, unavailable to colleagues and team members who might need access, and far astray from any type of corporate records retention or disposition processes.

The better approach is saving files in their ideal location right out of the gate. This way there’s no need to take a second, subsequent step to move the file, which often gets forgotten or delayed until someone starts clamoring for it.

Why file location matters

Where you save a file has follow-on repercussions that may impact you and your colleagues’ ability to perform their jobs efficiently. Think of how many times you’ve encountered a situation where you don’t have the files you need. You don’t know where to look—or you’ve looked there and it’s not to be found—and you either don’t know who to ask or don’t want to be a bother to the person you think might have it or know where it is.

You don’t particularly like being in that situation, so you probably don’t want to inflict the same thing upon your coworkers either. You also want to avoid any version control issues or unauthorized access and sharing of sensitive files.

When your organization uses SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, you already have a robust file management and collaboration platform at your disposal. The tricky part is boosting your own—and everyone else’s—compliance rate in terms of actually getting all your files in there ASAP. But there’s a simple best practice everyone can adopt, which is saving files in the right location from the moment they’re created.

Creating new documents in Teams and SharePoint

If you already know where your new file should be saved, you can ensure it ends up in the right spot from the moment it’s created. One way is to navigate to the appropriate folder/directory in Teams or SharePoint and then creating that file right from there.

For example, in Microsoft Teams you can navigate to the Channel where you want the file saved, drill down to the optimal location (most likely in the Files tab), and then create the new file right from there.

Create a new file directly from Teams

Just hit the “New” button and you will get a drop-down menu with the different file types you can create. If you select “Word document” from that list, it will prompt you to name the file and then open it up in Microsoft Word right within Microsoft Teams. Not only that, but the file will be saved in that location automatically, sparing you the “Save as” step or having to move it to that location in the future… if you remember.

A new file is created in Teams

The process works pretty much the same way in SharePoint (and OneDrive, for that matter). Either way, you’ve got your new file right where it needs to be from its moment of creation.

Save an extra step and do it from your inbox

While the above method for creating new files directly from their final destination, it does still require a bit of context switching between apps and/or browser windows. But it turns out there’s an even quicker way to achieve the same results without ever having to leave your Outlook inbox, which is probably where you’re spending most of your time anyway.

With 365 Suite, you not only get access to search and navigate to files on SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive right from within Outlook, but you can also create files from there as well!

In the window in Outlook, navigate to the Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive location where you want the new file to be saved. Next, click the “+” button to create a new file, selecting from file type options that were configured for the M365 location.

The new file will open up in the appropriate application for that file type, letting you begin authoring without needing to spend another moment worrying about remembering where to save it later. Note that if your SharePoint directories have source control turned on and require files to be checked in you’ll still have to take that final step once you’re done authoring or editing the file.

Saving a little time and sparing you a lot of headaches

Creating new documents from the right location from the start may not seem like a game-changing, revolutionary change in your workflow, but it removes one more step in being a compliant, collaborative colleague and will undoubtedly spare you and your coworkers from time-consuming fishing expeditions to try and locate the right file when it's needed. It also means there’s no excuse for you to send permissions-based links to that file instead of attaching it to an email.

To take advantage of this shortcut and lots of other time-saving, compliance-boosting features including the ability to drag and drop attachments right into Teams or SharePoint, begin your free trial of today!

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