Design World

Unorganized Design Files: The Tiny Issue Needed To Be Gone

September 23, 2020

Society has an illusion that people of creative professions are artists and often live in a chaotic environment – both in their computers and in their homes. But that is not necessarily always the case. The same way an accountant can be a very chaotic spontaneous person, so can a designer be pedantic. 

And think more about it – it makes sense. If you are a designer, you probably know very well how many files and copies of files you need to deal with every single day. Which would make your job impossible to do if you were not keeping your files organized, right? 

Not organizing your files can not only lead to unproductivity and time-wasting, but it could also influence some unforgivable mistakes. If you do not know which copy of a file needs to be sent to the client, you could be in a lot of trouble. To avoid all that, we recommend constantly review your space on the computer. Also, we’d like to share some organizing tips with you.

Understanding Why You Need a System

If you have been working as a digital designer and still do not have a filing system of your own, it is about time you create one. It is most likely that you just drag all of your design files into one folder and promise yourself to deal with them later. But does that ever happen? And if it does, how do you feel when you need to find a specific file in a matter of seconds?

That is right; it’s frustrating, stressful, and unproductive. Not even speaking about the valuable time you waste while searching for your design files. But believe when we say it – after you create a proper filing system, you will never want to go back to the chaos that was before.

There are many benefits to having a system. First of all, your designs will become better over time because you will not have to interrupt your creative flow while searching for a file. Also, you will start to feel that you have more control over what you do – which is good for self-esteem and confidence. And lastly, you will give yourself a priceless designing lesson – design is not chaos; the design is structure. 

Creating a Filing System

So when you finally understand why you need a proper system, it is time to create one. So start big and then go into more detail. First of all, create a folder and call it Work, Designs, or similar. Then, open it and create sub-folders that name different clients – brands or people. 

Afterward, move along to different projects that you have worked on with different clients. Each project should have a sub-folder in the specific client folder. And after that, it is time to create different filing folders for each project. This may seem like a lot for now, but once you’re finished, you will thank yourself, and in the future, you will only have to add a folder of a project you are currently working on.

We suggest you create five different sub-folders for each project – you can modify the folder names just how you like it, the most important thing is that you understand what is inside:

  • Business. In a sub-folder like this, it is best to keep all time and money related files, like business proposals, invoices, estimates, schedules, documents, contracts, and so on. It will vary depending on the project.
  • Client Info. Here, you should keep all of the information and files that a client sends you regarding a specific project – it can be notes, creative briefs, and similar types of files.
  • Resources. Keep all the design elements here – logos, vectors, photographs, fonts, and other related design files that you are planning to use for your finished design look. It will be much easier to use if you have everything in one spot.
  • Design. The name of the folder pretty much explains itself. Only keep your designs for the project in this sub-folder and do not mix it up with the resources you plan to use for the designs.
  • Final. Here you should keep the final result for the project that is ready to be sent to the client. It is best to keep your work design files away from the final production files because it can be easy to get confused between many similar files. This will help you avoid embarrassing moments of sending an unfinished project version for printing.

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