organizing projects?

I am tired of having to navigate to F:\clients\client_x\design history\engineering\internals\motor\components\etc. to get the files I want. Worse, with multiple people working on the same project, it is an inevitability that things will be put in the “wrong” folder. I could go on, but wont.

My question is, does anyone out there have a project organization system that they are really happy with?

Try making a desktop shortcut.

If CS work, use Version Cue.

Sorry, maybe I was a little unclear

I am not looking for a quick way to access a single file, I am looking for a system that is less cumbersome and more intuitive than navigating through subdirectory after subdirectory.

It just seems that about halfway through a project things start to get messy. Once you reach a certain complexity in the project, it doesn’t become instantly clear what folder a certain file should go in. People aren’t going to sit there and wax philosophic about where to put the file, they will just do the first thing that makes sense. After this has gone on for a bit, it can become a chore to find a file.

And windows search is useless.

Completely.

Is this an issue of drilling into countless directories? Or does every project have too many users that haven’t adopted the same naming standards (files, and folders)?

I set up a hierarchy of what goes where and how to name each file and distributed it. That way, you can search easily for the same parts. Are you in a Solidworks environment? If you are PDMWorks is pretty great (I’m sure other CAD systems have similar products.) You can assign metadata tags to your files when you create them. All you’d have to do is search “Client X Motor Mount” and a few files would pop up. You can use it for almost any software, too not just SW.

For this kind of problem, the biggest hurdle is always the human one. Especially with users that have well ingrained bad habits. If the system is forced, or automated, it makes it much easier. Even meta data has issues because all users have to remember to enter meta data and be consistent with meta-data. An example being: “Client X”, “ClientX”, “cleint-x”, “CLX”

Personally, I try to keep folder hierarchy as flat as possible, and include dates in folder names to aid locating old work. I’d much rather have one folder with many, but related files than endless subfolders with a few files in each.

CLIENT / PROJECT / 010209-REVISED
PHOTOS
SOLIDWORKS
120508-CONCEPTS
113009-RESEARCH