Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Awards Business Tools Business Intelligence Subscribe Tech Enquiry

Work less and earn more with the help of smarter file sharing

Iain Ferguson
Business and Technology Journalist

Iain is a freelance writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications.

Iain Ferguson
Business and Technology Journalist

Iain is a freelance writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications.

Forget the theory, here’s how file-sharing and storage services help make businesses more productive in real life.

For most of us, file-sharing and storage services are an easy way to back up documents to the cloud, or to access the same version of documents from multiple devices. But is your business really making the most of these services? 

people on a couch sharing files

Smarter Business™ spoke to two business leaders about how they use file sharing to streamline workflows, help boost productivity and organise personal tasks. Here are their secrets.

Choose a service that suits your work platforms

Michelle Bourke, founder and chief executive officer of digital marketing agency Artlivemedia, says her team spent “countless hours” running tests on multiple cloud file-sharing platforms to understand how to run a fully cloud-based business with a presence in three countries.

For more information on the tools and apps in this article, check out the Telstra App Marketplace.

Find Out More

She suggests you ask the following questions when choosing a file-sharing and storage service:

  • Does it allow your team flexibility in what operating systems they use?
    If so, stability of desktop and mobile apps across both platforms will be a critical decision-making factor for your team.

  • Do you use Microsoft Office365 online or G Suite (specifically Google Sheets/Google Docs)?
    If so, then this will also determine the best system for your team.

  • Do you want this system to replace on-premise systems altogether?
    If you want the service for more than sharing one-off files, and to be used easily by team members in multiple locations, then having local file sync will be a critical factor.

Forget uploads – just sync for effortless file sharing

“If I would give one piece of advice, it would be to choose a file-sharing system that allows selecting syncing,” Bourke says. “If you are trying to keep everything cloud-based, nothing will slow a team down more and encourage them not to use the system than having to open up a browser window and constantly upload files manually to the cloud.”

“Syncing ensures the system feels completely seamless to the team member,” she adds. “They don’t have to think about it; it’s about reducing the effort to zero.”

“Another key principle once you have rolled out a cloud-based file-sharing system is that when communicating internally, no team member should ever send files – only links to files,” she adds. “This ensures multiple versions of documents don't float
around unnecessarily.”

“For instance, we only communicate with clients via email. Internally, we all communicate via Slack and use Trello to manage projects. Both systems allow us to upload files, but we have a strict rule against it.”

A good filing system saves you time

Holly Cardew, chief executive officer and founder of – a service that re-touches and optimises product images for e-commerce businesses – uses file-sharing services to share photos with staff and customers, and a direct integration with one service to process customer orders.

She encourages business owners to “start a filing system and process early on” when using file-sharing and storage services. As the team grows in size, the system and processes will enable individual members to easily locate different documents.

Make the most of any related apps

It’s clear to see that there is more to file-sharing and storage service than meets the eye, especially when used with related apps. For example, you can capture receipts and other documents from your smartphone to help make bookkeeping easier. Once you take a
photo of a receipt or scan it, you can store the image in a file-sharing service. Some services let you attach a location to the receipt, and tag the receipt for easy filing and searching.

In fact, Evernote lets you snap business cards with your smartphone camera and automatically extracts contact information to create a searchable directory. Depending on the person’s details, Evernote will invite you to connect on LinkedIn with a single click. With no more business cards cluttering up your desk or being lost in jacket pockets, networking just got a lot easier.

Then there’s Box, which allows users to share, view and edit any file, including photos and videos taken directly from a smartphone or tablet.

For in person file-sharing, it’s worth looking at Skype for Business, which lets you securely meet with up to 250 people who have a compatible device and internet connection.

It’s obvious that file-sharing and storage services can deliver huge benefits for businesses, but choose the one which best matches your needs. Don’t forget to review associated apps and the benefits they can deliver. 

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra or its staff.

Telstra Business Intelligence Report 2020 on Digital Marketing
Introducing Telstra Business Intelligence 2020

While no two small or medium-sized businesses are identical, there’s one thing that most share – a scarcity of resources. When you’re overseeing daily operations, it can be cha...

Delivery person receiving take out food
Hospitality goes digital: 3 ways venues are adapting to COVID-19

Social togetherness is the essence of the hospitality industry. When this core ingredient was taken away from cafes, bars and restaurants, many were forced to change their usua...

Man types on laptop
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
How exceptional customer service translates to the digital world

Finding – and keeping – your competitive edge as a business is a tricky affair. If you’ve made a recent pivot to online trade, the way you interact with your consumers has like...

Making a video on a smartphone
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Small businesses are bigger with video

It’s no secret that video is an excellent medium to deliver a marketing message. Whether your objective is brand awareness, product education or sales, nothing captures attenti...