3 (not necessarily effective!) ways to juggle with your folders’ names

If you’re a bit like me, maybe you’ll smile while reading this. If you’ve never gone through the first phase, then well done!!!

The Jungle Approach (a.k.a. welcome to the wilderness)

I’m sad to admit that this was my very first approach (now abandoned!) to freelance assignments. I would create a project folder inside a too generic ‘Translation’ folder. After a while the name ‘Translation’ could have easily been replaced by ‘Jungle Explorer’…

The Progressive Figures Approach (a.k.a. we love numbers)

An agency I worked with for a while assigned a number to each project (e.g. 24869). They also had a specific folder for ongoing projects. A very clean method, although one of the downsides is that numbers don’t usually help you recalling deadlines, customers, etc. So you had to write down what project number you were working on.

The Client/Month Approach (a.k.a. my favourite so far and no, I haven’t found a satisfactory picture for this one :))

Where I currently work, we use a folder for every client. That folder includes sub-folders for each month we receive work. And the ‘month folder’ contains all individual projects for that month. Each project folder is named according to:

– day when the project was received
– key word(s)
– contact person
– deadline

So, if on 5th December Jane Doe sends me a project about surface irrigation with delivery 2 days later, the name of the project folder might be: 5 12 Surface irrigation Jane 7 12

And you, dear readers? What kind of systems do you use to avoid a jungle of folders?

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About Chiara Vecchi

A blogging translator working from English and German into Italian. You are more than welcome to visit my blog https://squirreltranslations.wordpress.com!
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8 Responses to 3 (not necessarily effective!) ways to juggle with your folders’ names

  1. Anna says:

    Great post, Chiara! I used to work for an agency, where on the server they had a folder with all client names and subfolders with months. Within each month there were folders with project names and, because it was SEM more than translation, they often had folders such as SEO, PPC, link building etc. The downside, comparing to your current system, was not necessarily knowing the deadline. Contact people didn’t matter from the agency’s average worker’s point of view. Great idea for freelancers to include it, though!
    Personally I use a similar approach. In Client folder I have subfolders for all clients. Then subfolder for year, quarter (if there were that many projects), then the project folder would be the deadline and optionally keyword. So, for example: if I agree to translate a leaflet for agency XYZ, client Q, then the folder structure looks like this:
    Clients > XYZ > 2012 > 1st quarter > 2012-11-18 Q leaflet > …
    Under “…” I also have a project structure:
    0-resources (optional; only if I research a topic and find some really useful information that is worth saving)
    1-original
    2-working (optional; only if I convert file formats)
    3-revised (optional; if client queries anything and I agree to change it, then in this folder I keep the version I sent to the client first)
    4-final
    That works for me.

    • Hi Anna and thanks a lot for sharing your system! I really like the project structure you employ with numbered folders, that’s something I’ll look into as it seems really handy.

      • Anna says:

        It is pretty useful – though it does mean that you have endless folders to trail through… But I don’t reckon it could be any clearer than that.
        I ought to think of a way of incorporating contact names in my folder structure. I guess project folders (immediately before numbered project folders) would be ideal. Once again thanks for writing this post, and glad you found my comment useful!

      • Thanks to you Anna!

  2. Interesting post Chiara! I use a client/month system too, but in a different way, i.e. there’s a month folder in each client’s main folder (e.g. X Translations, 2012, June 12).
    Plus, I name each project folder according to the PO. I work mainly with agencies so that makes it easier to find something.

    • Hi Catherine, thanks for sharing your system! The idea of adding the PO is really good, this way you can easily match emails and folders. Thanks again for this tip, I feel I’m getting so much from colleagues! 🙂

  3. Pingback: 3 (not necessarily effective!) ways to juggle with your folders’ names | LinguaGreca | Scoop.it

  4. Pingback: Weekly favorites (Nov 19-25) | Adventures in Freelance Translation

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