How to organise your client folders

If you’re a designer, freelance or part of an agency, you’ll understand the frustration when your own filing system is so bad, you get lost in your own work.

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 organisation, which eventually led me to the conclusion that I should put some thing together and share it.

The system is quite simple and you can download the whole client folder structure here.

Here’s what it’s made up of

The Root Folder
The Root Folder

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

A suggestion: Always give folders 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 Admin Folder
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
The People spreadsheet acts as a simple CRM

I put together a “People” 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 Project Folder
The Project Folder

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

The Project>Admin Folder
The 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).

The Project>Input Folder
The Project>Input Folder
The Project>WIP Folder
The Project>WIP Folder
The Project>Output Folder
The Project>Output Folder

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

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