March, 21st 2019 by Melina

Tag filing system - manage documents easily and efficiently

There is a saying "Tidiness is half the battle". But keeping this tidiness or the order is not so easy. For documents, whether analog or digital, folders are a popular tool in such cases.

in this article we explain why you should rely on keywords for a really good document management and how they even make a (digital) folder structure superfluous.

Folder arrangement concept

Whether in the directory, the heading or in the text itself, a certain word usually provides the decisive clue as to whether this is really the document that you have been looking for for what feels like three hours.
In both analog and digital form, various folders, indexes and pages are regularly searched through. A well thought-out folder structure is a decisive advantage, but - as you quickly realize - it has its limits. Especially as the volume increases.

What are tags?

Keywords or tags reduce the content statement of information to a few or even only one characteristic word. The purpose of this simplification is to facilitate access to content-related topics.

A well-known political example of this is the keyword combination of the French Revolution "Liberty - Equality - Fraternity".

In digital document management, keywords are used as search terms for documents, which can be defined individually by the user. They are usually defined during indexing - the process of adding information while saving the document. Other terms for this process are "keywording" or "tagging". The selection and combination of so-called tags are not bound to any hierarchical structures.

Why are tags the better folders?

The decisive advantage of keywords is that they can be varied. In contrast, folders only allow a rigid structure. This leads to compromises for documents that cannot be clearly sorted, or to filing the document multiple times, which inevitably leads to chaos.

The latter leads with documents, which cannot be sorted unambiguously, to having to make compromises. The chaos is pre-programmed.

In Docutain, you can create as many tags as you like and assign them when filing a document. While searching for one or more documents, it is possible to use them in any combination for your selection as search or selection criteria.


The search results for a keyword are like the documents sorted into a folder, i.e.: the tag is the folder. At the same time, tags can be combined in Docutain, which makes the keyword search more flexible and targeted and is superior to a rigid structure using folders.

The flexible filing system

In addition to tagging documents, document types form a complementary organizational unit in Docutain. They serve to categorize documents according to their type, for example as invoice, contract or correspondence.

Together with other criteria such as date, address or the designation as tax-relevant, they form the basis for flexible organizational concepts and search queries. Thus, it becomes clear that outside of a rigid folder structure, digital filing can be structured and also searched much more flexibly and individually.

However, it is tags that create crucial connections between individual categories and documents. What exactly is meant by this will be shown in the following examples.

Examples of filing systems

The following cases illustrate the limits of a folder structure and show how keywords can be used not only to avoid chaos caused by duplications, but also to save (storage) space.

Retirement provision
The protection of the old age can be very different and manifold. It is not uncommon for various documents to come together, which have to be filed in a meaningful way. With folders, compromises are necessary here, making it difficult to keep track of everything.

If documents important for retirement planning are stored in Docutain, you can tag the files. In addition to the document type, e.g. contract or certification, you can also assign the keyword "retirement provision" and thus call up all relevant documents in seconds.

Gesamtübersicht zur Altersvorsorge per Schlagwort

Recipe collection
In the classic folder structure, the waffle recipe was stored in three different folders.
In Docutain, the recipe was saved only once and assigned to the keywords "Sweet main dish", "Dessert" and "Baking".

Rezeptstruktur dank Schlagwörtern

Service charge settlement
Documents in preparation for the creation of the service charge settlement can also be tagged according to the respective rental object, for example.

7 tips for sensible tagging

When creating your personal classification system using tags, it is advisable to keep the following points in mind when compiling your tag list:

  1. Use primarily nouns, not verbs.
  2. Use singular or plural. E.g. recipe or recipes.
  3. Avoid synonyms (e.g. car, automobile, motor vehicle)
  4. Use relevant terms and no abbreviations that you will not be able to use later.
  5. Think about what terms you would use in a search.
  6. Try to estimate in advance how extensive a subject area can become and whether you can use the keywords chosen for it more than once.
  7. Check and maintain your digital filing system regularly.

Managing files with tags - keywords in everyday life

Everyone understands something different by the perfect tag. In the context of document management, for us this means finding the right document at the right time with Docutain. In conclusion, we would like to illustrate how exactly this can look using three possible everyday problems:

Recipe for the Christmas roast
And again we are on the subject of food. That's what Tina thought, too, until her mother announced on Christmas morning that the family recipe for the Christmas roast could no longer be found.

But before general disappointment can spread, Tina's boyfriend remembers having scanned the recipe with Docutain to send it to his mother.

Using his keywords (recipe - meat dish - legendary), the recipe is found in no time. This not only saves the Christmas dinner, but also makes Tina's boyfriend very popular with his parents-in-law.

Standing orders when changing bank account
Thomas has decided to open a new account at another bank because he was just annoyed with his old financial institution. Using the Docutain app, he searches for the documents relating to the terminated bank account using the tag "Account No. 123".

In the search results, he also finds documents relating to his foreign health insurance. This reminds him that the annual premium was debited from his old account and will soon be due again.

So he can report the new account details to his insurance company in good time and fly off on vacation with his wife next week.

Return with Swedish furniture brand
Max realizes that this summer is very hot when he is in his old VW station wagon on his way to Ikea to return his furniture from his student days. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that he left the bills for the return at home.

But instead of having to turn around again, Max searches for the digitized versions of the invoices in Docutain using the tag "furniture". This way, he can return the furniture and then make his way to his girlfriend Tina and their shared new apartment.

And now it's up to you! Download Docutain for your smartphone and design your personal filing system with tags!