In an earlier post we talked about cleaning off your digital desktop, this time we’re going to look at how you can give your digital filing system a complete physical. We’ll be basing this around projects and clients, but will a little imagination you can port this over to your heaps of photos and that downloaded collection of kitten wallpapers.
Hard drives are huge so partition that sucker into two parts to separate the programs from the data*. Name them something that is easy to associate with (e.g. Software and Data) not your favorite sci-fi star-cruiser. Partitioning has the added benefit of making backups easier to do.
If you are the kind of person that stores all you dishes in heaps on your kitchen floor, then this probabiliy won’t help you. Otherwise dig in and learn to use folders in a consistent hierarchy. Our data drive has several root folders that encompasses everything.
The Clients folder holds everything relating to client’s and their projects. Each project gets a unique name consisting of three letters and three numbers identifying the Client and which project number this is. For example the 5th project for Uber Metal Casting, a marketing brochure, would be UMC005 Marketing Brochure. All folders within that project folder bear the main ID in front of the contents (e.g. UMC005 RAW Photos). Downloads is the default place for anything downloaded from a browser. House contains our firms internal projects. The Library contains articles, scripts, templates and stock assets.
Don’t mix folders and files, any level with a folder should contain only folders. Don’t ever name a folder Misc. (actually this is an unbreakable rule). Use clear concise names for folders and files. Use colored or custom folder icons for faster recognition.
*We don’t recommend attempting to partition a HD that is already in use, best to do it before you load anything.