10 Part Series: How to Increase Your Productivity as a Designer — Tip # 7: Organize Your Files
Keeping organized working files and client files will initially save you time by helping you to find what you’re looking for, but will also help you in the long run. Chances are, you’ll need to access old client files from time to time whether it be to reference graphic styles, grab images, or to send them off to your clients. Knowing where all of your files are, what folders they are in, and where to put new files will help to streamline your workflow.
First of all, creating a consistent directory for your client files will help drastically. Not all systems have to be the same, and what works well for you, may not be best for someone else. So fish around and see what you like best, and once you get used to it, you’ll see great results. A good way to start is by creating parent files for all of your clients, and within those, individual project files.
In addition to keeping the file directories the same, use consistent naming for your files. If you do this, you’ll instantly know which file you need, where to look for it, and what it should be named. Also, it takes the guesswork out of file naming when you’re working on a project.
Finally, especially if you have more than one person working from your files, keep a sample directory on file. By having this sample, you will easily be able to show new people how your system works, and will give them something to reference if they aren’t sure where to put files.
By following these simple tips, you will be able to easily create client and project files, find projects you are currently working on, easily dig up old projects and client folders, and have others work on your projects without having to ask you where every single file exists.
Below are some helpful articles and programs to inform you on organizing your files:
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