I was trying to create an article for a newsletter and it wasn't going well. I was drawing a blank and then it hit me while I was staring at my computer. Recently I have been reorganizing my computer files. I'm typically an organized person, but over the years I've collected a massive amount of files due to video and image editing. It was now time for me to restructure and purge those files that were no longer needed.
A few things I realized were:
1. Be Centralized
Keep all your files in a centralized location. This simply means don’t have some folders on the desktop, some in the My Documents folder, some on an external drive, etc. I recommend having one location for all folders and then creating the Root folders within that centralized location. This will make locating a file easier (no more using the search bar to find a file) and, if the need arises, transferring all those important files means you copy and paste 1 folder not 100.
2. Start with a good root folder
I've created hundreds of videos over the last few years. All of these videos have a raw format, a finished format, and a handful of other files. Keeping all that organized can get overwhelming. To fix this issue, I created a root folder for videos within my central location (My Documents, Dropbox, an external drive, etc.). I then created sub-folders for each of our offerings and within that a folder for each video. This setup keeps me from having to search through every file for one video and keeps me from having to go through twenty sub-folders to find a specific file.
3. Don’t be afraid to change
Like anything else in business, the setup created today may not work next year. Getting organized is just the first step. You may realize soon after everything is organized that there is a better way. Figure out what works for your specific situation, what helps you to be most efficient and effective at your job.
At the end of the day, everyone’s organization will look a little different. The naming structure needs to make sense to the user and the folder layout needs to fit the needs of whoever is using it. If this is one person it’s relatively simple. If it’s a team, then it becomes a little more complex and might require a couple of conversations. Spending the time to get organized will help, in the long run, to save time and in-turn money.