File Organization and Debt
Recently in our office a conversation has started based around the concepts of what is efficient file structure and organization. This conversation began due to the growth of our company both in employees and in clients, which has led to some unique file organization happening within our servers and back up drives. I found that this type of organization leads to File Debt, and it is a very real and very scary thing. File Debt is created when the number of files and or folder exceeds a file organizational pattern and new folder structures have to be created to house the new files. This can lead to files becoming more difficult to find as you may need to ask a specific person where a file is located.
Some of us in the office have had more experience than others with trying to format folder structures in a collaborative environment, while others have been more used to structuring files around their own personal needs. What was clear while talking about this is that everyone was open to trying something new, something that would make finding files as easy as possible. This spurred me to start doing some serious research and I was able to find two agencies ( Area 17 and Medium ) who have also gone through this process and both came up with some very interesting methods to solve their file organization. Both of the shown example methods that they are using are excellent ways of handling large file structures but I find myself leaning more towards Area 17’s methods. I really enjoy the idea that technically if done correctly you would only ever need to know the client name and beyond that their numbering system can tell you exactly what part of each project the file belongs too.
With this system in mind I may try to meld my own dating protocols into this to create a system that also includes date of the project, thus allowing us to keep track of weekly or monthly repeating projects we have here at Venture Creations Media. The only real down side I can see to this is the file naming may become tedious to put into place and or to change old files over to the new structure. Either way I am excited to give it a try, who knows, I might just be able to create something that will future proof our file organization for years to come!
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