Advice to freelancers: Organization

When I first began working in graphic design, i was working for a small ad agency, and it soon became clear they had not thought through computer storage. So, I became the de facto storer of information. I made sure files were backed up, I made sure logos and ads and things that were frequently used were put where we could access them. This proved to be very useful.

You would think, 20 years or so later, I would have this system down, and I do, to a point. I do store all my files on the computer by job, and I do back up old jobs that I have on CD, so I can go back at least 10 years to find when I did a certain job. But, it occurred to me about a month or two back, that I had not done quite as good a job of it as I might have.

There are oh so many stories about backing up, but not so many about how to organize. oh, there are, I take it back, about organizing your office, but how do you organize your space on the computer.

What happened was, I was trying to find files to send over to the company that was redesiging one of my client’s web-sites, that I do maintenance for. I also do other things for them, and so, because I had done so much, they figured that I would have all the assets. I did have many of the assets, but I had them in my mail folder, or on various job folders. So I went through all the emails I had ever gotten from my clients, over three years time, and sorted them out and put them in folders, and sent them off to the agency.

And that was how I was forced to create an assets file for my client, and boy to I love it now that I’ve created it. I can go and grab logos and products, and all sorts of stuff. In fact, I had to go back into it just the other day because the agency need more assets, and I had them. I was quite happy.

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