Ways For Graphic Designers To Stay Organized

150 150 Derek Kimball

mind overload

Trying to find a lost file or note when you need it most can be quite frustrating and time consuming. Keeping your workspace organized will give you peace of mind and save you precious time. If you’re having trouble keeping things orderly, consider the following:

Organizing your images:

taking a photograph

If you’re a graphic designer, chances are you have a collection of stock images on your computer. If your photo collection is fairly large, it can take forever tracking down a particular image. Tag your images using a program like “Adobe Lightroom” or “Apple Aperture“. Both are solid applications that will allow you to find images much quicker than any folder structure alone will.

Organizing your fonts:

print block letters

If you are a designer with a large collection of fonts you should really consider using a font management program like “Font Agent Pro” or “Suitcase Fusion“. The benefit of using a font management tool is that you can activate and deactivate your fonts as needed, while freeing your computer’s preciously needed resources to concentrate elsewhere. If you aren’t using a font activation software and you do have a lot of fonts installed on your system, programs like Photoshop or Illustrator will become slower.

Another benefit of using one of these programs is the ability to structure your fonts into various categories. This makes the process of locating a particular style of font much easier. Being able to preview a new collection of fonts before adding to your library, is another handy feature.

Organizing your projects and ideas:

idea lightbulb

Many design projects include a variety of files (project files, final previews, fonts used, photos used, text documents, etc). So what’s the best way to keep all of these files organized and easily accessible?

One option is to use a program like “OmniOutliner” (mac and pc) or “Microsoft OneNote” (pc). These tools will allow you to do things that you can already do with basic folder structures and your default system tools, but in a more efficient manner. Having features like: batch find, inline note taking, multimedia display, event planning and budget creation all in one place, makes project organization and idea mapping a little easier.

Organizing your to do lists:

to do list

Some people still prefer good old pen and paper for simple things like to-do lists. But if you find it easier to organize on the computer, consider using a program like “Things” (for mac) or “Remember The Milk” (for pc).

Organizing your non-digital files:

file organization

A file cabinet may seem old fashion but it’s still a great way to organize all of your non-digital files (print samples, client files, logo sketches, etc). Try creating a new folder for every client project where non digital files need saving. Don’t forget to keep things alphabetized.

These were just a few ways to help you stay organized. If you have anything to share, please do in the comment section below.


Derek Kimball

Derek is the founder of DesignBuddy and a full time graphic designer. He specializes in logo creation and visual branding. Over the past 13 years Derek has helped hundreds of clients grow their business and establish a stronger brand identity. View his portfolio, or get in touch. If you'd like to receive an occasional free newsletter with useful design related content, please subscribe here.

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