Asset Management with a DAM

Unique filenames

Continuing the example of distributing files to someone else, what happens when they have a question about what you sent them?

If they ask about “DSC0010.jpg”, does that mean anything or do you have hundreds of files with that name? Incorporating a file naming convention that results in unique filenames can provide a key (or unique identi-fier) that links back to one and only one file.

Another useful advantage with unique file-names is the ability to import and synchronize data with other systems that key off unique filenames.

When cataloging files in a multi-user environment, one simple file naming convention to ensure unique and chronological filenames is using the date, the cataloging “session” (if the user catalogs more than once a day), and the cataloger’s username followed by a number that increments per file.

For example, 20110413_a_esmith_001.jpg.

Avoid Redundancy Traps

Try not to create folders with overlapping categories. If you have a top level folder called “Pictures” and another top level folder called “People” you probably don’t want to copy a picture of a person into both folders. Instead eliminate one folder or the other, or place one folder inside of the other. For example, the “Pictures” folder could go in- side the “People” folder.

Create a Cheat Sheet

Document your folder hierarchy rules and conventions. You don’t need to create any- thing complex, just a listing of what goes at each level of the hierarchy along with a list of “DOs” and “DON’Ts” based on these best practices.

Consider Starting Over

Start fresh with a new, clean, and well planned folder structure if your existing folder structure is too disorganized.

This can be done by moving existing items into the correct place within the new structure, or by choosing a cutoff date.

At which point the old location becomes a read-only archive where any changes must be copied to the new location.