How I manage my projects, folders, and files

Cécile Lebleu on June 18, 2019

This week I'd like to share my project filesystem, how I manage it, and why I do it this way. My intention is not to say "this is the best filesyst... [Read Full]
markdown guide
 

Hey Cécile, great article! I use a very similar folder structure, I like the lab and study idea!

How do you organize your projects folder? All my projects have this structure, but this is from a designer point of view, so you probably are already familiar:

00_Documentation
01_Resources
02_Prototypes
03_Development
04_Print (If necesary)
05_Final

Thanks for sharing this!

 

Thanks for commenting!
Each project folder has its own structure. Clients can be very different in requirements or preferences, and a small personal project isn't going to require the same structure as a large brand development, print, and web design project.
For example, if I'm designing a brand identity, I'll have a Resources folder with what the client provided, then Exploration for inspiration, moodboard, and so on; Process with all the design process files (often a base file with _01, _02... appended to the end to track the design changes over time). And then a Deliverables folder, where I put the files I send over to the client. If they need it again, I can send the same files, or if I need the files again — say, if I'm designing something else for them and need the final logotype file.
But if I'm making a website, I will usually have two folders, Design and Dev. In Design, a Sketch file, images, resources, etc. In Dev, the actual website files (html, css, js, sized images, etc) and a git repository to track versions.
Versioning and tracking modifications is completely different for design and programming, and the amount of organization and sub-folders required can vary wildly between projects! I don't think I could make, at this point, a standard filesystem for individual projects. I could perhaps have a system for different types of projects, but it would be more of a distraction than a solution, because of how different even two "similar" projects can be.

 

Wonderful! I was curious and is interesting how people organize things. Let me explain why I use that structure always.

First, I use 00 01 and so on because usually, those folders depend on job phases.

00_Documentation has every document, contract, briefing, email copies, and very important: research related to that project.

01_Resources stores both client and stock resources.

02_Prototypes is where the first fast ideas are developed based on the first briefing and research. This is to avoid what you explained of having files with numbers for changes. That happens when the project is not well defined, yes, changes happen but only one revision or two, more than that means that the project is going wild.

03_Development is the product phase. Be it a new brand or a digital product like a website.

04_Print only in projects with printing material.

05_Final well, finished product to deliver.

Also is easy to explain to new people to the project and this maintains coherence, something important when you don't work alone.

Anyway, it's great how you organize everything! You have every detail in mind!!! Thanks for sharing it!

It’s a very interesting approach. I will be definitely trying this with my next project. Thanks!

 

I'm curious, Why do you camelCase some directories and TitleCase others?

I always use lowercase_underscore though this is because of working in unix based systems where spaces and casing can create serious headaches.

 

Interesting question! I think only allProjects is camel cased, it's the main folder I navigate to. It's just easier to type. I had it originally as AllProjects but kept mistyping it. I generally use TitleCase, it's easy to read and write, but sometimes will use capitalized snake case for client projects (as Client_Project_Name), because I've noticed it's easier for clients to read when they receive their files, but doesn't use spaces.

 

Spot on. Your description of this fundamental concept is quite elegant. I have been keeping each project on a different team drive. I am inspired now to bring them all together using your top level structure.

 

Thank you for sharing this, it never occurred to me to have an archive by year structure, now it seems so sensible that I can only slap myself about the head and start using it.

You have inspired me to dive into my nightmare folder of ideas, learning and experiments. Time to organize them.

 

I'm glad! Good luck, and feel free to modify the system to your liking. The most important thing, in the end, is to find what works for you, and stick to it in the longer term!

 

I also use that year folder structure you show. I like the + sign hack on the name of the folder. I like to name folders with the name and lastname of clients. Often, one client might have several projects. (So one folder per project inside the client's folder) That way if a costumer calls me 3 years later i can find everything about him/her (no matter how many projects we did) in one single folder.

 

That's a very nice way of managing client projects! I will definitely incorporate that into my structure.
How do you find a project when you have been working for a few years with one client? I have, for example, one client since 2015 so I have a folder with their name in each of the folders for 2015, 2016...2019. But then it gets a bit difficult to remember when I did this or that project and I have to go back through each year to find it. Do you have any tips for that?

code of conduct - report abuse