File Organization

Back when I was a full time employee at Vineyard Columbus, we had an absolute ton of ministries and departments that all spawned their own plethora of projects, events, and promotions. We had to find a way to organize it all so that anyone could walk in and make some sense of it. This became even more important when we moved to shared storage.

We realized a few things:

  1. Most events repeated every year or every other year
  2. We needed a way to easily find files for weekend services and other events
  3. There were a few things that we produced that didn’t cleanly fit under a single ministry. For instance: Sermon Series, Bulletin, church wide branding, and stock.
  4. We needed all of this to live on shared storage so everyone can access anything at any time.

We bought a NAS, and moved everything there. And we came up with the following structure:

At the top level, we have folders for each top level ministry.

Ministry -> Event or Promo -> Year

Inside each year folder, we have to more folders for that particular project.

-> 11×17
-> Bulletin
-> Concept
-> -> Approvals
-> Postcard
-> Slides
-> Social Media
-> Whatever other delivery format needed

-> Audio
-> -> Field
-> -> Mixes
-> -> Music
-> -> SFX
-> Misc (for scripts etc.)
-> Exports
-> -> Approvals
-> -> Final
-> -> MGFX
-> Media
-> -> Footage
-> -> -> Card 1
-> -> -> Card 2
-> -> Illustrator
-> -> Photoshop
-> -> Stills
-> Project
-> -> Year Event Title.prproj
-> -> Year Event Title.aep

-> RAW
-> Edited

We handled delivering files from our Communications team to our Media Arts (live events) team using a folder called “•Dropbox” (not a dropbox account folder, just named “Dropbox”). The bullet pulls it to the top of the folder list. We have a few folders there to exchange stuff:

-> AAFs to be mixed (from video editors to audio engineer)
-> Finished audio mixes (from audio engineer to video editors)
-> DVD
-> ProRes
-> Slides

Final deliverables for weekend stuff is titled “YYYY.MM.DD Event Name” with the appropriate file extension, copied to the •Dropbox folder, and an email sent notifying the other team.

Stuff that isn’t for a particular ministry gets treated as a separate ministry. For example:

Sermon Series
-> Year
-> -> Sermon Series Name
-> -> -> Graphics
-> -> -> Video

-> Year
-> -> Month

-> Video
-> Stills
-> Event Photography
-> -> Year Event Name

All these folder structures exist as Post Haste templates with appropriate project document templates. If I were to go back I might change a few things, but this system is (mostly) still in use today, nearly 10 years later.

Hope that’s helpful. You can grab a sample of our folder structure right here.

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