When it comes to project management, no one was worse than me. I just worked aimlessly trying to get my idea down as quickly as possible without hesitation. Which ends up leading to lost files, bad management, and even worse lost ideas. Which in reality is very counter-intuitive. I mean if my strategy of diving in headfirst ends up making my life more complicated, then it doesn't really work eh?
So again here we are talking asking the question, how do we fix this? Or even better what's a better way to handle it?
After many many days of working on creative projects, and losing files or deleting files I meant to keep, I have created a file system that works wonders. It makes building projects and ideas that much easier. I hope that by explaining what I’ve come up with, you can create a system that works just as well for you.
Now I'm prefacing this by saying that I work on a mac, which I'm sure a good amount of us designers do. But for you pc users, I hope that some of this can help you too.
I start with a master folder, a place where I know I can easily reach into and even leave open (if you have a dual-screen) to hold all of your materials and resources. Use your creativity and name it whatever you want!
Inside this folder, I start with my categories. Pictures, Icons, etc. Again, using the customization options that are available to make it fun and exciting. Remember that you are the only one looking into this folder, so it's okay to change folder colors and give it fun names.
After that, I like to separate even further. Maybe by website, by style, etc. After all those separations, every time I make a new project I copy every piece I used into a folder specifically for that project. The reason I do this is for that moment where you ask yourself, “hey remember that font/icon/picture I used on that project back in May?” Well, now you know exactly where to look without going through a massive library of files.
I also like this technique for icons and such because it is instant access to things you normally search for.
This is the first stage of my file organization system, and while it's great to leave this on your desktop. I highly recommend to also place a backup on an external drive. There are too many easy failures that happen in everyday technology, don't leave your hard work to chance!
-until next time-