Your full time employees and freelancers are likely to be storing proposals, reports, financials and other documents core to your business, and your customers in a range of places. These might include their laptops. Personal Dropbox, GDrive or Onedrive accounts. Email and public folders. It's a familiar story, which comes with familiar problems, which our blog goes into in more detail (link)
The 4th Office gives your teams the simplicity, accessibility and continuity benefits of cloud storage but all under a single company controllable account.
This means you can move people away from use of consumer tools like Dropbox and Google drive and consolidate all your cloud storage into one place, with no storage limits.
The 4th Office is also organised around things that make sense to your business , like your customers, teams and the work & projects that drive your business forwards. You can move away from static folders and sub folders and work within a more dynamic workspace.
The 4th Office's powerful search engine means it’s much easier to search for what you’re looking for, based on much more than just a file name and corresponding folder.
Different document types like contracts, proposals and invoices can be tagged as such, making it much easier to find them
Our document collaboration view means the documentation and the conversation sit side by side, meaning the discussions, feedback, decision making and other IP that went into creating the output can also be stored and retrieved at a later date.
The 4th Office also lets Google docs and traditional office docs and PDF’s sit within the same organisational structure, so you can organise all of your content around the right things, regardless of their type.
Getting started with the 4th Office
1. Transform your folder structure into meaningful work spaces
Groups, Projects and clients are like your top-level folders. No doubt today you have a folder structure that looks something like this:
We have some best practice tips below to help transform your current folder structure into more dynamic workspaces within the 4th Office.
Client projects and other work
The Client Project section is the best place to create the projects and engagements you're currently working on. If you currently have folders setup to capture this work, then simply create a new project for each piece of work you're engaged in. The Documents of this project will then act as the container for the documents or other folders that are associated with the work.
In the example above the folders 'Projects, Internal initiatives, Events' would each be a new project category within the 4th Office, as shown below. With the workspaces then contained within them.
To learn how to add new project categories read this article.
To create a new project go to the project dashboard and click 'add'
Then give the project workspace a name, some members and assign it to a client if desired.
Where you have current folders related to clients, you should create a client record in the 4th Office. Following the instructions above you can create new clients as you create the projects associated with them. Or, to create new clients from scratch, visit the client dashboard and use the quick add field.
You can then add folders and documents to the client Documents if required. It's useful to store documents here that aren't necessarily related to any project work you are doing for a client.
Group Documents are a good place to store documents that don't have a natural home in your clients or projects. You could have an open group for the whole team, and sub folders within it, or you might want to split some of the documents across different groups like Marketing, Sales, Finance, Management and store documents there. This allows for tighter control on who can access the documents. You might also have information on associates.
If you have marketing or project templates you want to make accessible to everyone, we suggest you setup an open group called 'Templates' or 'Marketing' and put your documents in there, arranged by folders or tags if required.
Before going all guns blazing, we suggest you add a few clients, client projects and teams to the 4th Office. We can then help import the rest of your clients, projects, documents and other data if required.
2. Add some documents
With your structure created you can add some documents to the projects, clients and groups you have created. Documents can contain any document or file type conceivable, including Google docs. To learn more about adding Google docs to your Documents click here.
3. Categorise your work
Each project category can have custom stages which you can use to organise your work. For example your client projects might be organised by Pitching / Won / Planning / Delivery or some of your internal initiatives might be Consider / approved / Deliver.
Just click to add a new stage, or hover an existing one to edit or move it. Just drag and drop projects between stages as required
4. Link your projects to your clients
Any projects that are related to customers can be linked as such. This means that discussions, tasks and documents for pieces of work related to a client can also be viewed by client, so you get a consolidated client view of what’s going on.
It also means you can filter your projects based on the client they relate to.