As a designer, I have to have a file or two saved from time to time for my business. Staying organized with these files is a must for me! Not only does it help my sanity to keep things in a specified space, but it makes my client experience a smooth process.
While these tips are more designer-based, some general ideas will be helpful for you to implement no matter your business or industry.
Invest in additional storage
Whether you use Dropbox, an external hard drive, or Google Drive – extra storage is one of my top tips. There is nothing worse than having a slow computer when you are trying to complete saving a Photoshop file or finalize a mockup in Illustrator for a client. Keep your computer running smoothly by saving your files to a spot other than your main desktop.
Create main folders
I have three main folders – events, business branding, and product shop. In the events folder, I organize by type of event (birthday, wedding, etc.) and then the last name of the client within the appropriate folder. For business branding, I have folders by business name. For the product shop, I have a product images folder, lifestyle images folder, packaging, and promotional materials folder, and folders for each launch date (ex. Summer 2019 launch). Use a similar structure for your business! Think of significant categories of files you save regularly and create folders for those items.
Develop a naming convention (+ stick with it!)
Another significant way I stay organized through the design process is by sticking to a naming convention. Throughout the process, there are multiple rounds of designs and edits. To keep track of where I am in the process, I number the “round” of the design version, such as design_1; design_2; design_final. Create a similar method for you! Especially if you go through multiple rounds of edits for a project, design, etc. it can be helpful to have each file saved just in case you have to backtrack a little bit without having to start completely over.
There are just a few quick tips to help with staying organized with your files, but having a method to the madness helps so much with your business. Try out some of these ideas ASAP to refine your process and simplify things!