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Document management is probably one of the most important, tedious, and sometimes boring things that all companies have to deal with. Organizing huge document libraries can be such a pain that it often just doesn't get done. This can lead to many problems and then many hours of work to fix those problems. Luckily, as a SharePoint consultant I know that SharePoint's document libraries have such amazing functionality that it's an absolute waste if they're not taken advantage of. This post will focus on how SharePoint document libraries make organizing documents a breeze.
Document libraries provide many advantages over storing files in simple network file shares. These advantages include:
In general it's far simpler to keep all of your documents within SharePoint and then just manipulate their status via their location within SharePoint. Their location can be changed by dragging and dropping.
So, how do you control who can see what where based on a documents status? Use folders that have pre-tagged metadata and just drag documents between folders! This first concept is a drop box – how the document gets into SharePoint. The Dropbox is the primary point of communication between users adding documents.
The way you use it is you Drag / Drop documents from your desktop into the Dropbox. You may drag / drop multiple documents, but note you cannot drag a folder into the Dropbox. You may also select + new document to add a single file. Finally, if enabled on your site, you may send documents via email to the Dropbox. So nice an easy, just drag and drop.
Then setup another location to manage the documents. Have a view showing Pending documents so you can easily see what needs to be tagged and approved. Once complete drag to the Approved/Published location. This can be an approval process or just tagging the documents, once complete drag them into the next location for publishing. Using this Dropbox concept allows you to make a simple workflow just by moving documents from folder to folder.
All it takes is a few libraries and folders and you can drag and drop files between libraries and folders to create a document approval and tagging process.
Need help on migrating or managing file in SharePoint? See our blog post Migrating File Shares to SharePoint or Tips for SharePoint Document Management in Office 2013
Mention this post and we'll send you a white paper on all of the ways to manage files and documents with SharePoint!