How to organize project artifacts

Have you ever wondered where you saved that file from back when you did something, like a project or a task? Whether it is a personal project, small task or work related project. It does not matter. We have all been in this situation.

Sunset in Thessaloniki
Sunset in Thessaloníki

Searching in Dropbox, in Google Drive, in your computer’s documents folder, doing a full search, going back and searching your cloud services, your email, you name it. Only to lose time, and realize you can’t find it easily.

This stresses me out and makes me angry. Losing time like that is not something I enjoy.

After going through this many times in the past, I have developed a system for filing all my project artifacts.

First of all, I keep everything in Dropbox. You can try this using your favorite place of course. What matters is that you always use the same place, and that you trust it.

Then, instead of organizing everything into logical categories, for example:

  • Projects
    • Home
      • Bills
        • 2020
          • Electricity
            • may-receipt.pdf

I only have one “Projects” folder, and then everything follows the pattern below:

  • Projects
    • 20200521-home-electricity-bill
      • home-electricity-bill-receipt.pdf

That’s it.

Every new project or task that has files I need to save, goes into that “Projects” folder. It starts with the date and a “-” separated list of keywords as the name of the sub-folder.

It sounds counter intuitive because we humans tend to want to categorize everything into elaborate structures. The problem is we are not consistent and we always forget how we had decided to organize things 8 months ago.

Having only one level of sub-folders, frees you from having to even think how/where to file something, and where to go to search for it.

I hope this helps 😃.

What are you up to Petros?

After 9 years at GitHub Support, I am now building Supportress. A simple customer support tool at an unbeatable price, to help teams stay calm and productive. You can always check what I am doing now and where to find me online.


All images/photos unless otherwise noted are Copyright Petros Amiridis, All rights reserved.

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