Starting Organized, Part 2

Previously, I wrote about how getting organized can help you to be more efficient so that you spend more time editing and less time managing media. I suggested that if you take the time to create a “master” folder structure, you can copy that structure as you begin each project rather than recreating a new system each time. And in Part 1 of this three-part series, I discussed what’s in the first two folders—Audio and Color—of the Master Folder structure. (To see the last part in this series, go to Starting Organized, Part 3.)

Now I’m going to discuss the next four folders: Design, Exports, FromClient and GFX.


The Design folder is where I store graphics I’ve to create outside of the edit software. If I work in tandem with someone on shared storage, this will also be their work area. Also, as with Audio, I use Design for design projects that need to be archived with the edit project.

The Design folder is partitioned into the main types of design content and I’ve found that they cover most of the content that is created. Within some of the folders are sub-folders based on the type of work. For example, 3D might include Texture and Models folders, as well as others.


The Exports folder is pretty straightforward. What might be surprising is that there are both Deliverables and Master QT folders. It’s surprising how often I’m tasked with delivering files that aren’t at the level of a Quicktime ProRes master—just something like an h.264. Even so, I still create it.

The Approvals folder is very busy. When the project is in progress, that folder might be further divided by date-based folders, by episode/spot folders or by both. But I always make sure that the deliverables I create are put into the Deliverables folder. Another step that helps avoid mistakes.


Anything I get from the client needs to be stored with the project. Even if it’s a tiny file delivered via email, I make sure it goes into the FromClient folder. I do this even if it fits into another category, like graphics. This way I know where things came from.

The only exception is music, which I place in the Music Comps folder. This exception is because I’ve been asked, “Remember that music we used on that show in February?” This allows me to look in one place rather than two.

I don’t have a folder for the business aspect of the client—the estimates, contracts, etc. I prefer to keep that side of the business separate from the project, particularly if I’m working in a shared storage environment.


This is different than the Design folder. When I work with a graphic artist on supporting graphics, this is the folder I use to get content back and forth. From_Design is where I put all the finished graphics they created. If I need special compositing or animation added to a cut track, I place files for the graphic artist in the To_Design folder.

Note that within these folders (or any of the folders in my Master Folder) I may create subfolders during the project process. For example, within the To_Design folder, I may create folders for each scene I want the artist to work on. Why do I call it GFX and not Graphics? It’s just a shorthand I’ve always used.

Next time, I’ll cover the folder structure where I put footage.