How to organize your client folders

If you’re a designer, freelance or part of an agency, you’ll understand the frustration of not being able to find what you’re looking for. Even worse is when your own filing system is so bad you get lost in your own work.

I have been guilty of both, and although I am not a designer anymore, I was going through my old work and started the process of filing properly. This led me on to some articles on folder structure and organization, which eventually led me to the conclusion that I should put some thing together and share it.

The system is quite simple and the whole client folder structure can be found here.

Here’s what it’s made up of:

The root of the folder

In the root of the client folder (which you would rename to the client’s name) are 3 folders: _Admin — where all the top line administration for that client is kept; _Corporate Identity — where that client’s CI is stored separately to jobs and finally a Project Folder — which you would duplicate when needed for each new project.

A suggestion for your project folders — Give them a decent name, perhaps starting with the job number, then a title, and then a date. That way they will always be unique and easily found.

The Admin Folder

The contents of the _Admin Folder

The admin folder consists of 4 folders and 1 file. Invoices is where to keep your invoices for each job; Legal is for contracts and agreements; Operations is for procurement documentation, purchase orders, etc. and lastly; People is where you keep track of who is who at your client.

The People spreadsheet acts as a simple CRM

I put together a spreadsheet that helps you track names, contact details and relationships. think of it as a super-simple CRM for yourself.

The Project Folder

The project folder similarly has 4 folders within it; Admin, Input, Output and WIP.

The first level of the Job/Project Folder

The Admin folder houses your briefs, cost estimates and proposals.

The Job/Project Admin Folder

The next 3 folders allows you to manage your workflow by separating Input (what client has supplied you), WIP (work in progress) and Output (what you supply to clients and or 3rd parties).

Input (what client has supplied you)

Download the structure, give it a try and let me know what you think!

If you liked this, you may like this article on organizing your design/creative resources.

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Marketing Professional. Problem Solver. Not saving lives.

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Marc Ashwell

Marc Ashwell

Marketing Professional. Problem Solver. Not saving lives.

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