Organizing your image library isn’t so different from organizing anything else that has a large amount of items. Your closet, for example: there are shirts, pants, jackets, undergarments, etc. But wearing a coat or a hat might only be appropriate for a particular season, or a certain shirt might match with just a few other articles of clothing.
Like organizing clothing based on how and when you’ll wear it, there are a lot of factors to consider when organizing your image library. Here are five tips to help you out:
1) Create specific collections
This one is fairly obvious: you have specific drawers or closet space for certain types of clothing. Do the same with your image library! Utilize the ability to create a collection of images that pertain to a certain theme, project or idea. A collection can also function as a shortcut to your favorite pictures.
If your system can store more than just images, your image library might have features that automatically organize files into collections. This is especially handy for keeping images separate from other file types.
2) Make relevant information known
Like explicit washing instructions, there are some details of your images that need to be known. Use a designated space for leaving details and descriptions for others to see (or simply tag them to be sure). A good image library will make it easy to add and view important information.
3) Use tags and categorizing to easily find images
Image libraries come with the features for categorizing, which makes finding any image a breeze. Like collections, tags and categorizing with keywords will organize images by certain themes and projects. As an image library gets bigger, good tagging and categorizing practices will help to prevent messes.
4) Don’t be afraid to utilize more space
Trying to cram a lot of images into a limited space might be cost efficient, but be wary of sacrificing ease of use for less space. The pros of buying extra storage might outweigh the cons if you and your coworkers feel constrained by the limitations of a small library. The ease of organization could be worth the expense, especially since ROI is directly tied to productivity.
5) Do a deep clean if things get too messy
Despite good intentions and practices, sometimes messes are inevitable. That’s okay! Take what you’ve learned to re-organize your images and implement better practices. Smart organization will scale alongside your library, and if you’re working with a team, it might be good for all of them to be involved as you build from the ground up. Proper organization is key for a productive team.
A mess will be obvious; just like how wrinkled clothes suggest a messy closet, your team’s productivity will be indicative of how organized your image library is.