SharePoint Folders

Since the beginning of computing someone had the brilliant idea that for storing files and documents the best way to classify them would be to create a hierarchy and structure of folders or directories and begin dumping them in there.

Today we have end up with hundreds and hundreds of folders in our hard disks with lots and lots of files. Sometimes I don’t even remember where I created a folder and even further what the files inside there represent.

And a simple explanation for this is that we as human beings don’t think like a hierarchy. Our memories are not stored in a hierarchical path that we follow to remember where we left the keys of our car yesterday. We just kind of make a full search on the brain for keys and the place just comes up. Now, that’s a way to store and look for things.

My suggestion here is that we try to stop using folders in general applications and in document management systems like SharePoint. Try to classify files in document libraries using meta data fields in SharePoint which get indexed by the search engine and also lets create filtered views about information. Folders will just complicate things creating a hierarchy of files. Investigate a little and you will notice that almost any folder can be replaced for a meta data property. And also you will get sharepoint workflow like an added bonus.

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