4th June, 2020 | By Parakh Arora
When we're stressed,
we clean up the mess!
Simple magic tricks we apply at The Right Brained while organizing our files.
We would love to share our process with you - from naming files to saving them.
While we’re cleaning our homes, let’s learn to organize our computers too! The only thing we’re not maintaining a social distance with. Whether you have 20 files or 22,000, trust me this is going to help. You can have an empty desktop and *drum rolls* downloads folder (I swear), by just organizing it all better. Bear with me please!
Why do you need this?
Because 1. It will make your work flow faster and smoother, you will never have to spend more than 6 seconds looking for a file.
2. It will make you see that beautiful wallpaper hiding behind those folders.
Let's start by naming smartly
As lazy as we all get while naming our files, we shouldn’t at any point underestimate it’s value. I’ll tell you why:
For folders that have more than 200 files, how do you know which was the final file that went through several rounds of changes? Naming your files smartly will help you find them in a few seconds even years later.
For example, let’s say you name your logo files as ‘logo.ai’ every time, for every project. There is a high chance that when you type in ‘logo’ in your search bar, you may get overwhelming results. How do you know which was really the final one? Being specific and on point with your file names will take you to the right place!
So instead of naming your files randomly, let’s create a system. Add ‘v1’ (variation 1) as a suffix on the first file you work on. As your artwork goes through changes, you can save each file following the same logic, V2-V3-V4 and so on. Only when a final approval happens from the client formally, you tag your file as ‘final’.
What about organizing smart?
Folders folders foldersssss!
Step 1: Create all the client folders – not on your desktop, in your documents folder. One for each client STRICTLY, so our personal files don’t end up there.
Step 2: Going one by one, create subfolders within these client folders clearly stating the nature of work. It could be a longgg list but don’t get overwhelmed, we’ll manage.
It’s important to create some mandatory folders for a project as it progresses to a wider scope of work.
- ‘Inbox’ Folder: Anything that’s been received from the client
- Drafts: Initial ideas / rough concepts
- Final Package: The final files – Artworks, Images, Fonts etc. shared for production.
Pro Tip (for those using Macs)
Assign a colored tag for the same nature of work. For example: If you have a social media folder for each client, mark them all in orange, so you don’t have to dive in 10 folders to reach a file. Select the orange tag and have all your social media folders right there.
Step 3: Transfering all the relevant files to these folders. You can start with clearing out the desktop first; shifting each file to it’s designated folder. Doing the same with your Downloads and wherever you have the files saved.
Step 4: Once you’re done organizing these, you’ll be left with some files that don’t belong in any of these folders. Create a new folder called ‘Miscellaneous’ and shift all them there.
Let’s be stubborn!
- Do not let your files sit in the Downloads folder for more than two days. Anything that’s procrastinated for longer than that just becomes a never ending task (personal experience). Move files to their designated folders and delete the ones you don’t need. Organizing them right away will save your EOD time.
- A cluttered screen can get demotivating while a clean desktop pumps you up. Let’s hold onto that thought and show some love to our desktop.
- Be mindful before you empty your trash. A quick glimpse can save an important file from getting lost forever.