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Workflows That Save Time and Make You Look Good

By Olav Andreas Frenning on May 22, 2019

SmartFolders - Folders that aren't really Folders

Users with a long-standing relationship with FotoWare will know just how we feel about folders.
For years we’ve been trying to convince others that with proper metadata you can do away with them (the folders, that is) altogether. However, there’s something about folders that keeps people from wanting to part with them; they conjure a sense of order and neatness that’s hard to equal.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel from Unsplash

Clouds have no folders

As you will have seen if you’re using FotoWare in the cloud, there are no actual folders there that you can play with or use to organize your content. That’s simply because of the way cloud storage works - blob storage isn’t quite like the local file system on your computer. However, to not upset the crowd too much, our cleverly devised SmartFolders can be used to mimick the trusty old folder structure so users of a FotoWare system will feel at ease.

SmartFolders - almost a folder - but cleverer

A little while back we wrote an ebook about the upsides of using taxonomies to organize your content. Taxonomies are great for organizing content that fall into neat, pre-set categories. But they’re just not that great for users who occasionally need to set up their own filters ad-hoc to easily get back to a certain collection of files. SmartFolders to the rescue: Like a taxonomy, SmartFolders can be nested to resemble a classic folder hierarchy, but where they differ is that they require neither superduper administrative rights or a degree in library science to set up.

Explained simply, a SmartFolder is a search filter that looks and feels like a folder in the navigation panel on the left hand side of FotoWare in your web browser. So if you can perform a search, you’re perfectly capable of setting up a SmartFolder. And if you’re into quirky search syntax you can make use of all the Search expressions and special tags that our search engine supports (all documented on learn.fotoware.com). However, we think most users will be perfectly happy setting up very basic search filters that go looking for a particular piece of metadata that they’ve added to a certain field, for example. And setting that up is an absolute no-brainer.


3 practical uses of SmartFolders

These are three ways that we often use SmartFolders; you can probably think of ways to adapt this to your environment:

  • Using SmartFolders we can quickly find files that users have requested for deletion (such as an unflattering portrait). When users do this, a big red X is slapped over it to tell other users to stay away. We review the files, delete them as required, and that’s it. Easy as pie.

    How revoked assets could look
  • Another use for SmartFolders is to quickly retrieve assets that we have requested users add more metadata to, so they can become more useful to others (more about this last point in a future post).

    Assets tagged for revie (require additional metadata

  • The Marketing team also have the possibility to set up their own SmartFolders for quick access to campaign content, for example. All that’s required is a campaign code in the metadata that the SmartFolder can filter by.

    Different smartfolders

Tip: A single asset can have several campaign codes associated with it, as it may be a part of several campaigns at once or over time.

If you want to learn more about how you can plan and manage your content structure, download our eBook 'Succeeding with taxonomies!" It's instrumental in organizing large volumes of content.

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