How do you organize your folders and files for design projects?

6 years ago from , creative developer

I work on design projects at university and for private use. Currently I'm saving my sketch and framer files in a chronologically folder system on my dropbox. But I'm not quite happy.

How do you organize your design files? Do you use abstract or similar tools?


  • Zsolt Istvan, 6 years ago

    The structure for me looks something like this

    • 00 Pitch
    • 01 IA and UX
    • 02 Design
    • 03 Development
    • 04 Project management
    • 05 From client
    12 points
    • Jignesh LadJignesh Lad, 6 years ago

      We do something similar to this but with the addition of commercial work done at the start and support folder at the end. Some might feel this is being over organised but once in a flow, it becomes effortless!

      0 points
      • Zsolt Istvan, 6 years ago

        For about a month or two I felt like this is too much, it's "over organised" - weird feeling haha - but as I got used to it just works.

        0 points
    • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, 6 years ago

      We used this structure (sorta kinda) in agency land too. Worked fine.

      0 points
    • Domas MarkeviciusDomas Markevicius, 6 years ago

      Yeah, we keep very similar folder structure as well, while individual files are named with date, e.g.: notifications.19-10.sketch. This way it's easy to identity the latest version and at the same time it prevents silly names like "final_15".

      0 points
      • Zsolt Istvan, 6 years ago

        You change the filenames daily? Thought sorting the folder by "Date modified" helps to see the latest version?

        I'm yet to find a bulletproof way to name my files, so interested to hear how you are doing it.

        0 points
  • Yohul CYohul C, 6 years ago

    I've started to user Area17's guidelines for Project File management, and it's working out fine so far, no more cluttered messes.

    Area 17 - File Organization

    7 points
  • Jrtorrents Dorman , 6 years ago



    03.Project Files



    • Input is stuff from cliets, research etc.

    • Reference is inspiration etc

    • Project Files - we create separate folders for each file type

    • Output has two folders; A. Draft B. Final.

    • Namibg goes like this ; YYYYMMDDFilenameAB_vNr. (AB is initials of the person who made/last saved the file.

    4 points
  • Tristam GochTristam Goch, 6 years ago

    A folder named PAIN-01a, then carefully sort files like so: untitled-0001.psd, untitled-0002.psd, untitled-0003.psd

    4 points
    • Rob C, 6 years ago

      it's always important to have a New Folder (1-11), skipping a couple numbers here ant there and occasionally having files inside it, but usually keeping it empty yet somehow have it being used so it can't be deleted or renamed.

      1 point
  • Azmir S., 6 years ago

    Topmost level:


    Since we work on some pretty complex projects, this one consistently enables every group and team to stay organised. The exchange folder is the most used as we designate subfolders for incoming and outgoing items.

    One detail we add to our work is ...CW##... to designate calendar week, not just date. It seems to be helpful to many.

    I also think that the guidance from Area 17 is pretty useful. The trick is whatever the system - staying disciplined with it.

    1 point
    • Zsolt Istvan, 6 years ago

      How do you manage files in your exchange folder? Do you keep all the incoming/outgoing items there kind of like an archive or only keep the most recent version of the item?

      0 points
      • Azmir S., 6 years ago

        All incoming and outgoing. yymmddtopic(initials of who sent/shared)method... OR yymmddCW##topic(initials of who sent/shared)_method...We use the incoming/outgoing to be able to get a fastest picture of exchanges and activity across the entire history of the project.

        Method (referenced above) refers to the method of exchange: email, client portal, agency portal, etc. For those that are administration averse its a challenge - but it works for us.

        note: my underscores and formatting keeps getting removed when I post.

        0 points
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, 6 years ago

    I'm a nerd and made an automator script to build an Mac OS application to generate a project file scruture. Check out this video about it if you're interested. Cheers!

    1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

    One tip I can share is this: I create a folder called _archive that will sit at the top of whatever folder it is in. This means that if there are older versions of files I want to keep or discarded ideas, I will always know where to find them.

    1 point
  • M. AppelmanM. Appelman, 6 years ago

    Also handy: https://uxdesign.cc/managing-design-files-within-teams-3644e695b7e5

    1 point
  • Lee Williams, 6 years ago

    I used to be kind of OCD about file structure. Currently though I'm a 1 man team at a startup and I 'm not sharing files with anyone, so that's all gone out the window. I find files by using spotlight search and that's pretty much it.

    0 points
  • Paul ArmstrongPaul Armstrong, 6 years ago

    squad > 01-ProjectName > design / output / resources

    0 points
  • Ben RamseyBen Ramsey, 6 years ago

    Internal team. We've been using the following for several years with success:

    • • Presentations
    • 00 Project
    • 01 UX Research
    • 02 UX Design
    • 03 UI Design
    • 04 Delivery

    Inside structure for 00-03 is undefined and up to the team of ~15. The UX Design team decided to standardize their explorations, WIP, and deliveries into subfolders within 03.

    05 Delivery contains 2 folders at all times: A dated folder with the latest exhaustive delivery, and •Archive which contains previous deliveries for the project.

    We used to have a 05 Results folder but found it difficult to manage and stay in sync w/ our data analytics team that has since improved their reporting consistency / usability of finding what you need.

    We use 2 share drives. One that is internal to only our design + creative teams, and another that can be accessed by all of our cross-functional partners. Typically, only the review documents + deliveries go on that drive.

    We keep Invision prototypes up to date as we work through the projects, and use those + static documentation during reviews.

    0 points
  • Graham Bushell, 6 years ago

    I use a slightly tailored version of this;


    ~ Props to Matt (@mds)

    0 points
  • Youri RoggevenYouri Roggeven, 6 years ago

    for freelance work i have a folder on my mac named client in that folder every client gets it's own folder, there is where the organization starts:

    • from client

    • inspiration

    • website

      • psd
      • jpeg
    • HTML

      • in here all the dev files
    • some random folders like: logo, & printing

    0 points
  • Ale UrrutiaAle Urrutia, 6 years ago

    Client name - Fonts 3. -- YYYY-MM-DDProject_Name -- 01 - Assets --- documents --- images --- references ---- pictures ---- urls m -- 02 - Production -- 03 - Deliverables - Admin -- Accounting -- Deliverables

    I made an Automator workflow to keep consistent folder structure between projects. Feel free to use i in any way you need: workflow

    0 points
  • Dana (dmxt)Dana (dmxt), 6 years ago

    Whatever how you're comfortable with. No need to relearn other guy's structure. Just be comfortable. Here's mine for sake of the thread:


    • Documents (Proposal, contracts, etc)
    • Resources (Provided resources)
    • Inspirations
    • UX/UI materials
    • Design materials (/web/, /logo/, etc)
    • Webdev (if present)

    I also keep versions of these files such as v1, v2.1, v2.2

    0 points
  • Zach HubbardZach Hubbard, 6 years ago

    Depends a bit on the project, but it's:

    Project Name






    Final Proposal

    And lots of subfolders.

    0 points
  • Khurram Butt, 6 years ago

    Using Abstract but i save my files after 15 days in our companies shared folders.

    0 points
  • Thanasis RigThanasis Rig, 6 years ago

    I also would like to know how other designers approach this problem! But from a folder structure point of view!

    0 points