Whether you’re reading this blog for the first time or a returning visitor, hello and welcome! I am a multimedia specialist, meaning I create and manage a multitude of content as a large part of my job. My biggest content source is digital video, which naturally takes up a lot of hard drive space. I typically manage photos, videos, and all sorts of digital creative content. So how do I manage and keep all of my content organized? Keep reading!
Keep or Delete?
When working with digital content it’s easy to rack up terabytes of videos, photos, etc. You have to be selective from the get-go with what content you want to keep and what you want to toss. I know a lot of people are afraid of the delete button! Because once it’s gone, it’s gone! But fear not! Keeping irrelevant content or bad photographs is not worth paying to keep them stored. Remember, the more you keep, the more storage you’ll need, and the more it will cost you in the long run. When ingesting footage, photos, or other content into your computer, review the files and only take what you want. Typically, I import all of the footage into a premade folder, then I review the files one by one, and delete the unacceptable content.
There are several options you can use for storage. At my work, I store all of my content on a server that is maintained by our IT department. I have loads of storage, so thankfully it’s not something I have to think about often. Servers are my favorite option, but they can be slow if you don’t have great internet.
If you are someone who wants physical storage, like a hard drive, I absolutely recommend using them. You have to be sure to purchase a hard drive that can handle the amount of storage space you need and be able to keep up with your work. This can be a cheap option because you can purchase storage as you need it and it is a one-time fee. The cons to this option are that you need the hard drive any time you want to access your files, and if something happens to your drive and it’s not backed up somewhere else, your files are gone. Hard drives are a great option, but be careful with them!
If you want easy access to your files with the internet, I recommend using cloud storage. There are tons of options for cloud storage and I’m sure there are blogs dedicated to this topic. For quick and easy access to files, I typically use Dropbox and Google Drive. These are great options but require a subscription fee depending on how much storage you want to use each month. But these options are also great for sharing files.
I keep my files VERY organized. This is super important with video editing because when you import files into editing programs, the program needs to know where the source files are each time the program is opened. If you accidentally delete or move your files, you will have to manually locate them for the editing program. File organization is also very important because if you wanted to re-use a video clip from a previous video, you would know exactly where it is located. Editing clips from finished videos are not easy to work with.
I have a few file structures we can look at. The first one I open is the main video folder. I work at a school, so this folder contains templates, music, logos, and a folder for each school year. The school logos don’t change, and this is a good place to put score/music into. This folder houses the templates I use in the video libraries.
If I were to click under a school year, each year looks almost like the template I created. Under athletics I might put games I’ve recorded with their dates, under academics I might have b-roll of classes, and under departments, I would have folders for advancement and admissions.
When I edit a video project, here’s how I set up my file structure. Most video editing programs have their settings automatically to keep backups and cache in the file itself, but when the program crashes, the backups crash along with it. I learned this the hard way! So when I begin an editing project in Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, the first thing I do is set the backups, cache, etc. to save in my file structure. Typically there are many components to a video, so I make sure that all elements are saved in their own folders so they are easier to find! I don’t share my projects with others, but if you were working on a project with someone, organization and file structure helps everyone to know where content is located.
I value an organized workspace. It saves a lot of time, energy, and headaches! I hope this blog was helpful to you and if you have any creative ways of storing and managing your content I’d love to hear it!