Based on asset manager system experience that uses folder structures, here are some tips on setting up folder structures that will help you and your team work more efficiently. These tips will be helpful whether or not you are using an asset manager system. Use the following techniques to get started with new folder hierarchies or when cleaning up messes.
- Know the consequences of underscores and spaces at the start of folder names. Placing an underscore, space, or other special characters at the beginning of an asset manager system folder name forces the folder to float on top when the files are alphabetically sorted. This can lead to problems as the folder does not appear in its usual place.
- Use folders as a way of applying keywords. Some asset manager systems and search tools generate keywords based on the folders where the files are listed. When setting up your folder structure, think about keywords that you can apply based on folder names.
- Avoid ambiguous and redundant folders in your asset manager system. Try not to create folders with overlapping categories. If you have a top level folder named “Pictures” and another one called “People”, you would not want to copy a picture of a person in both folders. Rather, eliminate one folder or the other, or put one folder inside of the other.
- Create a template of empty subfolders in the asset manager system. If the same subfolders will be used throughout the folder structure, or if you expect to create folders in the future that need a common group of subfolders; create an empty group of folders and subfolders as a template. This will allow you to quickly copy and paste the template of subfolders into new folders rather than manually creating every subfolder.
- Consider replacing folder structures that are disorganized in the asset manager system. Start with a new and clean folder structure. This can be done by moving existing items the correct place in the new asset manager system folder structure, or by choosing a cutoff date where the old location becomes a read-only archive.