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In generic terms there are three methods of filing just about anything:
- Structured by event
- Structured by type
- Event might be occasion or date or a specific project. For this type of structure you would store all your assets related to that event, regardless of whether it is still, image or audio, in one place.
- Type would typically be by the type of asset. All your videos in one place, stills in another, audio in another etc... In business for example in the eighties (when personal computing became prevalent in the workplace) staff would religiously have all their word processor documents in one place, spreadsheets in another, powerpoints in yet another etc.... Dreadfully inefficient.
- Unstructured would be a case of storing things wherever you liked and accessing them via tags or albums - but you've said you want to avoid this.
Personally I let the application store things according to the defaults for the different import types but then tag them. Essentially I follow the 'unstructured' style. For anything major I create a project directory and move all the project assets into it (i.e. selective structure by event).
If you search the Tips & Tricks forum I think Bill Hunt (who does this stuff for a living) describes his structured folder flow in great detail.
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That's just the info I needed. I will look to see if I can add my photoshop folders into some structure too - here's a link to Bill's set up:
If anyone wants to add anything further feel free