My company has decided no more File Folders in SharePoint and anyone using a File Folder must convert to Metadata. We have groups of people assigned to do this task but some are facing thousands of documents in file folders that need to be converted to Metadata. What is the quickest and easy method to do this? Are there tools made for this?
I don't think there is a quick and easy way to do this. You will need to do at least the following in your approach:
- Disable the Make New Folder buttons (otherwise people will use folders).
- Remove all existing folders.
- Create taxonomies with your users and subject matter experts
- Tag the existing files with the metadata terms.
- Develop ways users to find the files without folders (like Metadata based navigation)
- Develop training for current and future users.
I have seen companies try this in the past, and initially the policy sticks, but eventually people go back to using file folders. So your approach needs to include some way to disable the New Folder button.
Depending on your situation, a good time to try this might be during a migration to a new version of SharePoint. On the new version, start clean and do not do an in place upgrade of the files. Encourage the users to start with a clean slate and move over only relevant files but have your training ready. This purges all of the old unused files.