Examples of network drive folder structures

There are many ways to structure information and records in network drives. Your folder structure should be ‘fit for purpose’. To be effective, everyone needs to be able to use the folder structure to store their records and find information when they need it.

In each of the following examples, the highest level folders do not contain documents or other items. They are used to sort information and guide users to the information they need. There are four examples provided, based on:

  • the organisational structure
  • the business function
  • projects
  • cases

It may be practical to use a combination of these structures.

In each of these examples the highest level folders (shown in uppercase) are used to indicate the structure and do not contain any items. Documents, emails and other items are contained in the lower level folders only.

Example 1

The folders are arranged according to the organisational structure.

The highest-level folder titles reflect the business units in the agency structure, and second level folders can be used to represent activities that occur often. These folders do not contain records.

Lower-level folders such as Monthly meetings – 2012-2013 and Correspondence – Assistant Secretary contain the documents, emails, etc.

(IMG) folder structure 1

Example 2

In this example, the folders are arranged according to the business functions and activities

The highest-level folder titles reflect the agency business functions and activities. These folders do not contain records.

Lower-level folders like Risk Management and Standards contain the documents, emails, etc.

(IMG) folder structure 2

Example 3

In this example, the folder structure reflects work that is case-based.

Lower-level folders like Case documentation, Communications and Financials contain the documents, emails, etc.

(IMG) Folder structure 3 

Example 4

In this example the folder structure reflects work that is project-based.

The highest-level folder titles reflect the project-based work of the organisation. Each project file can be further sorted into relevant and repeatable activities. These folders do not contain documents or other items.

Lower-level folders like Case documentation, Communications and Financials contain the documents, emails, etc. They can be further sorted chronologically or by topic or activity.

(IMG) Folder structure 4

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017