Spoiler alert! There is a simple reason why we don’t recommend organizing your folders by topic versus our preferred method. The reason? A single photo file can only live in one folder at a time. This will cause issues should a single photo have more than one topic. You would be left to decide which topic to file this photograph under which creates doubt and a level of subjectiveness.
Let us give you an example of what we mean exactly. You have a single image which contains a dog and a cat. Here are some of the problems you would encounter and then have to decide your course of action.
- Would you file the image in a folder named ‘dog’ or a folder named ‘cat’? We suppose you could create separate dog and cat folders, duplicate the photo and file this single image inside of their corresponding folders. The first problem is now we have double the files for the same photo.
- What do we do when the image has more than 2 topics or subjects? You can see how your folders will quickly grow into a large mess. Even though we believe you should never worry about file storage as hard drive prices are pretty affordable, we do still believe that you should be smart with how you are using that space.
- Which image do you edit? The dog folder image or cat folder image? If you edit one, do you then have to go and edit the other?
The simple truth and alternative option are to think of folders as file box or storage container versus an organizational tool. There are other ways to create a single photograph into topics that then become searchable. One of those options is to use keywords. We have created a post on keyword ideas to help with this. Armed with this information, you can store one copy of every image in a unique file folder and use keywords to break that photo up into searchable topics.
If you need help with setting up an efficient file folder system, we have created a blog post for you, how to organize photo folders.