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File Organization

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File Organization

Postby jjackson » June 4th, 2014, 4:48 pm

I guess this is the best section to post this in.

My business is up for about two years now and I am starting to collect a lot of files. Many of the jobs are a bit unique, which means I am often on the tough end of a learning curve, but it's all good. I have folders with client input files (photos, logos, etc.), graphic files and intermediate images where I am proposing say different arrangements or fonts to the customer, sometimes pictures of the work in progress and often more pictures of the finished product than I need (lousy photographer).

Has anyone got a computer filing system they find works really well?

If I spend time in Corel Draw converting a school logo into a vector file, I will want to get that back quickly if they re-order. When I get around to making my web site decent and start posting to social medial, I will want to be able to retrieve pcitures of the finished goods.

And sometimes I just find a cool graphic or idea online that I capture for future use.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

John
John Jackson
thingsmade.ca
Russell, Ontario
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Re: File Organization

Postby JESS » June 4th, 2014, 5:09 pm

John-
I keep a folder on my desktop called AADATA. Inside it are folders for individual glass companies, contractors, designers, etc. Each of their jobs is in their folder, artwork & all. I also keep keep folders of artwork by category, where each of the customer's artwork is stored also, tagged if I can re-use it, or if it is proprietary. There's a lot more to it, but maybe this will help.
ALSO be sure to do weekly backups on all of it, and keep it someplace else.
Jess
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Re: File Organization

Postby Terry W » June 4th, 2014, 7:25 pm

I have something similar to Jess.

I have a jobs and estimate folder on my desktop. In there I have all my customers. I keep all their info in the folder. If I have more than one job for them I make a folder inside the main folder with that job (job 1 2012, job 2- 2013 etc). I keep all the files, pics, pictures etc for that job in that folder and title it accordingly. I also have graphics separated by category but I need to do a lot of work to that.

I am not that organized but I can generally find customer files and info with a few clicks.

If you can start out with a good system it's much easier to stay with it. :B: :B: :B:
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Re: File Organization

Postby Eriks » June 5th, 2014, 12:57 am

In addition to what's already been mentioned about setting up folders, I also save most artwork files with long file names that describe who and what the file was for. That way if I'm having trouble locating something I can always do a search on the file names and usually have a pretty good chance at finding it.

Cheers,
Eriks
Benchmark Engraving & Awards - Australia
http://www.benchmarkengraving.com.au
and also:
http://www.bluestreaksix.com
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Re: File Organization

Postby randypitcher » June 5th, 2014, 1:19 pm

If you keep track of files by date, a good trick is to prefix the file name with the following format:

YYYYMMDD example: 20140605

This will keep them in chronological order in your folders.

-Randy
Started researching, studying and reading in February 2010. First piece etched on March 11, 2011
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Re: File Organization

Postby David Takes » June 5th, 2014, 9:10 pm

I'm not sure if you want to go this far, but I will tell you that the best time to do this is now, not after you've had thousands of transactions. I have a system in place that allows me to pull up past layouts by customer name, transaction date, or past invoice number. All graphics files are linked via my accounting system to invoices. On top of that, the files are stored in folders identified by the customer name. This has worked very well over the years. It's amazing how many times a customer depends on me to pull up past year's layouts, winners, placings, etc. To me it is a basic, expected service we all need to provide our customers.
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Expressions Engraved
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Re: File Organization

Postby JESS » June 5th, 2014, 10:05 pm

Agreed completely! (Caveat), some customers go by multiple names, for whatever reason, (usually a bankruptcy, therefore a name change), so some files have multiple names. P.I.T.A.!!! But, I have learned to keep the old file, and add that folder to the customer's new name, so I can hunt down his older work. I have one customer that has done that 5 times, and so far, he has never beaten me out of a nickle. He has no credit anywhere in town, but we immediately know to require a deposit before beginning work. Slow pay is better than no pay.
Also, that particular customer is the main reason NOTHING leaves our shop without payment. It's a good idea to mark folders with a grading system, so when quoting new work, you know when to add the "Asshole tax". :twisted:
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Re: File Organization

Postby Charles » June 10th, 2014, 7:26 am

A great free back up system....up to 15 gigs free!!!! Access from anywhere there is an internet connection.....
Google drive
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