Sorting out your Assets

Hi all, 

I am looking at cleaning up our Assets folder. We currently have specific folders for Audio/Video files, however the Image assets folder is looking a tad messy.   Any ideas how I could best categorize the Images? 

e.g.:  Illustrations, People, Abstract... perhaps by emotion?

We mainly focus on Business and Finance training. I would be really interested in hearing your ideas...

Many thanks,

Nat.  :o)

15 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Natalie!

This is a great discussion topic! I think a lot of it depends on personal preference. For me, I like to keep things as organized as I can without creating a ton of folders. So at a high level I do have Images, Video, Photos. And then within Images I have "People" "Office-Themed" "Backgrounds" "Medical", etc.

For me, having less folders is good because if I start to have too many layers of folders it takes me forever to find a photo, and I end up giving up on the search. Also, it's really easy to start creating folders that are way too specific.

Sometimes Ill look at a photo and it doesn't fall neatly into one category, but if you have high-level general categories, it's easier to find somewhere that it fits. 

Here's a past blog post from Tom Kuhlmann on the topic: How to Organize and Manage your E-Learning Course Files

Also, here's a couple other (hopefully) useful links I found about organizing graphic assets:

OWEN HOLT

Nicole Legault said:

......

For me, having less folders is good because if I start to have too many layers of folders it takes me forever to find a photo, and I end up giving up on the search. Also, it's really easy to start creating folders that are way too specific.

Sometimes Ill look at a photo and it doesn't fall neatly into one category, but if you have high-level general categories, it's easier to find somewhere that it fits. 

One way to handle documents that don't fit neatly into one category is to add TAGS to the document. By using tags, I can go to my image folder, and search for a term like "medical". I will then see all the images that are tagged with the word "medical" or that have "medical" as part of their file name. Because any image or document can have multiple tags, this is almost like having it in multiple folders. Think of it this way, the purpose of a folder is to group objects. Using Tags is just a more versatile way of grouping objects.

Sheila Bulthuis

I've been considering investing in an asset management application, like PixFiler or Extensis Portfolio.  I'm sure there are others out there - has anyone used any that they'd recommend?  I think these would give a bit more flexibility and search robustness than tagging, but I'm not totally sure...  

Natalia Mueller

Hi Natalie!

I'm with Nicole on using fewer folders instead of getting really detailed. It seems like a good idea when you're setting them up. It's when you go in to try and find a picture that it gets frustrating. Tagging is a great way to add more details without adding more folders to search through.

We actually stopped using our Windows file structure and began managing our assets in SharePoint so we can share them with trainers in other departments and they can share with us. If you're familiar with SharePoint at all, each of the pictures below opens a separate library. After dealing with a system previously that made me hunt through TONS of separate folders I was determined to keep it to high level categories. 

Natalie Van Doren

Thanks all!

Ooooh,  I like the SharePoint idea!   We are implementing templates for people that work in/out of office, so that will be a great way for them to access everything!

The 'Tags' will be handy also.   I am dreading this task however with 2 years of stock images to sort!  What a shame the tags arent installed when you purchase!

Nat :o)

Sheila Bulthuis

Nicole Legault said:

Great tip, Owen!

Natalie, these are the steps to tag a photo in Windows:

  • Right-click on the image
  • Click on Properties
  • Go to the Details tab
  • Click in the space next to "Tabs" to add keywords!

And then to search by keywords, simply type the words in your "search" bar in a Windows folder.  

Nicole, do you know if you can search at the parent folder level and have the search applied to all the items in the child folders? Or would you have to search each child folder individually?

michelle eames

Owen Holt said:

Nicole Legault said:

......

For me, having less folders is good because if I start to have too many layers of folders it takes me forever to find a photo, and I end up giving up on the search. Also, it's really easy to start creating folders that are way too specific.

Sometimes Ill look at a photo and it doesn't fall neatly into one category, but if you have high-level general categories, it's easier to find somewhere that it fits. 

One way to handle documents that don't fit neatly into one category is to add TAGS to the document. By using tags, I can go to my image folder, and search for a term like "medical". I will then see all the images that are tagged with the word "medical" or that have "medical" as part of their file name. Because any image or document can have multiple tags, this is almost like having it in multiple folders. Think of it this way, the purpose of a folder is to group objects. Using Tags is just a more versatile way of grouping objects.


The problem is for me is that tags do not always work on certain picture types PNG which a amajority of the files are..   The option to add tags isn't visible and you can't add them in the file properties.  You can apparaently use Winows Photo gallery , but this isn't searchable by windows  I was really excited about tags but gutted when ot didn't work on some images. 

OWEN HOLT

Microsoft Windows XP and later editions, most image tagging programs (including Windows Photo Gallery), digital cameras, scanners, and pretty much any other picture-handling hardware or software in existence, store non-photo information (collectively called metadata) into a special section of the image files that has been specifically defined by international standards organizations. These standards are specific to image formats (e.g. JPEG or TIFF). If no metadata standard has been defined for a specific format (PNG or GIF) then there is no way to save metadata (including tags) to it. You could theoretically store tags to .PNG files because a lot of versatility was written into the Portable Network Graphics format, but to date no single standard for storing metadata to PNGs has arisen; but we can hope that it will.

Windows Photo Gallery overcomes these limitations by storing the tags that you assign to metadata-less image formats into its own special database which it can consult any time you view the picture. Because this is a Windows Photo Gallery thing, not an operating system-wide thing or something stored in the image itself (as with JPEG and TIFF), tags saved in Windows Photo Gallery can only be viewed in Windows Photo.

So tags can still work for you, you just have to change the way you add them and search for them by using something like Photo Gallery instead of “searching Windows” in the traditional way.