File Organization and Organization in general.

17 02 2009

If you’re a creative you’ve probably heard that organization is key. For the most part it is and ironically I usually find myself with clutter on my desk. Though how many of you can have a desk full of clutter yet know where everything is? – I’m one of those people and cleaning the big eye sore kind of throws me off from time to time, but it must get done.

Though minus being a semi-mess my files are usually key when it comes to my organizational skills. I’m sure most of you (if not all) have some form of doing this. Which is completely fine, I’m going to give a run down of how I organize my own for those of you who might not have a system. In the end it saves a lot of time and frustration from pulling your hair out and trying to find files. Also I’ll give general tips on how to make sure all your files are where they should be in several different programs so you and your printer won’t be smacking yourself over the head.

I’m notorious for lists, but for the better of me I’ve decided to implement graphs and charts. We’re visual people and I’m determined to add more visuals along my posts.

DEFgraphics key to organizing files:


All right, so the diagram seems a bit smashed so I’ll explain it, it goes:

Step 1:
Project Name
Well, I think this one is self explanatory, but for those of you who want an explanation here it is. This will be the folder of which all your contents for the current project you’re working on goes. Therefore if I were working on a book about dogs I’d probably name the folder The title name or “Dog Book”.

Step 2:

This will thus be a folder within the folder of your project folder. I suppose I’ll go off of the whole Dog Book thing because I brought it up. Here sketches that are pertaining to the book will go, maybe some quick layouts. Nothing too fine rendered just yet. Just your brain throwing up idea. Possible brain mapping (I will write about that in a later post) as well as a brief of your current design.

Step 3:

The stage where we are first working in programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. This folder is going to need to be broken up into more sub-folders. I know, I know, you’re asking “DEF! Why so many damn folders?!” and I’m telling you why right now because it’s easier to find and access things than have them scattered all around – that and I’m possibly a little OCD, but that’s besides the point. So in this stage there will be folders such as:
– Stock/Reference
– PSDs (Your Photoshop files)
– Ai Files (Your Illustrator files)
– Pre Deliverables ( Comps before your final comp, ready to show the clients etc)

Step 4:
Final Project

Where all the magic happens. If you’ve ever found yourself rushing to figure out where you left what file, then here is the perfect folder for you. This is pretty much where all the finalized pieces go, go you will see similar sub-folders here, which are:
– PSDs (The final version of your PSDs)
– Ai Files (The final Ai files)
– Deliverables (The files that are ready to be sent off to the printers, the final project)

There you have it my friends, how I, DEF, organize my files. Now my question to you is how do you organize your files and/or do you have a system of how you do. Feel free to leave your commentos, I’d love to hear your feedback on this.




One response

30 03 2009

This is a really good post.

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