View Full Version : Filing system for customer files.

John Jackson
06-04-2014, 8:00 PM
My business is up for about two years now and I am starting to collect a lot of files. Many of the jobs are a bit unique, which means I am often on the tough end of a learning curve, but it's all good. I have folders with client input files (photos, logos, etc.), graphic files and intermediate images where I am proposing say different arrangements or fonts to the customer, sometimes pictures of the work in progress and often more pictures of the finished product than I need (lousy photographer).

Has anyone got a computer filing system they find works really well? I am not looking for a tagging system for searching clipart; rather a best practice for storing jobs.

Something I should have been doing from the beginning but have not is logging settings used on various jobs, brand of materials, brand of paint fills, etc. etc. so i can reproduce a job two years later. Anyone got any great forms they use for this?

If I spend time in Corel Draw converting a school logo into a vector file, I will want to get that back quickly if they re-order. When I get around to making my web site decent and start posting to social medial, I will want to be able to retrieve pictures of the finished goods.

And sometimes I just find a cool graphic or idea online that I capture for future use.

Any ideas?



Tim Bateson
06-04-2014, 8:41 PM
During the ARA show in Vegas I looked at a fantastic system that tracks all of those files as well as the Corel Draw file. Even versioning. However the company was out of their freaking mind for what they tried to peddle it at $$$$$$$$$$. Unless you have hundreds of dollars to spend every month, forget it.

I personally could do better, but I keep directory structures for all of my major customers & build sub-directories for each year's activities.

Gary Hair
06-04-2014, 10:13 PM
I personally could do better, but I keep directory structures for all of my major customers & build sub-directories for each year's activities.

I do the same thing. If I have files I have designed for one customer that could be used for other customers then I'll keep it in a generic folder and name it so it's easy to find and determine what it is without having to open it up. Like Tim, it probably could be better but it works.

Chris J Anderson
06-04-2014, 11:37 PM
A simple way to store engraving settings / materials lists etc is to just draw it as text outside the drawing area in coreldraw.
Corel doesn't print outside the drawing area, so its a simple method.

John Jackson
06-05-2014, 12:02 AM
Thanks for all the tips, guys! I like the idea of putting it off the sheet in CorelDraw.

Henri Sallinen
06-05-2014, 2:55 AM
Most of the design work I do happens outside the worksheet of CorelDraw. On larger projects, the worksheets size can be only about 5% of the whole files "size". When I need to cut something, I drag, arrange and resize the needed lines to my workspace. I allways cut my files with "selected" instead of cut the page or document. This way I can be sure that no unnecessary lines are cut/engraved.

Tim Bateson
06-05-2014, 8:02 AM
A simple way to store engraving settings / materials lists etc is to just draw it as text outside the drawing area in coreldraw.
Corel doesn't print outside the drawing area, so its a simple method.

You know you can can save your settings (Epilog Driver) in the Print Driver. I have saved settings for for all of my work & have tweaked the default settings to what works best on my machine. For example, I have at least 6 different sets of anodized settings saved, depending on the type of work. Anodized-Tag-Text, Anodized-Tag-Photos, Anodized-Hard (for weapons), also a couple other anodized setting sets for specific items I do often. Same is true for various Rowmark jobs & IPI jobs, Crystal, Glass, etc...

For quick selection for those jobs I see nearly every day or every week I have placed a number in front of the setting name. This sorts them to the top of the selection pick list. Also defaulted my most common setting.

Mike Null
06-05-2014, 8:22 AM
You can make notes as you save the file per the photo. Also embed fonts if you choose.

John Jackson
06-05-2014, 8:38 AM
Thanks - I have started to do that already. Now if I could just keep my laser as the default printer in Corel WITHOUT changing my windows default printer I would be all set. It is such a -- that every time I go near the open command it resets everything to my windows default - I have to reselect the printer, then open printer settings and set the saved material settings.

Mike Chance in Iowa
06-05-2014, 11:48 AM
I use a combination of the above. I have a generic "Customer" folder, with sub-folders based on year 2011, 2012, 2013, etc. Each year, I save one-off customer files based on their name & project in the main Customer Folder. (i.e. JohnSmith_Frame, JaneSmith_EOY_Awards) Come Jan 1, 2015, I will create a 2014 sub-folder and move all the 2014 customer files into that and start with a clean slate. For my regular customers, they have their own special folder where I save all their files, images, samples, etc.

When I work on special projects or on items I am not familiar with, I will place special notes on a new page within the file to help me remember. These notes can be such as what contour settings I used; the special font name I used and converted to curves; how long it took X product to dry; or how many passes it took.

I also save common jobs into their own blank templates. For example, I would have a 4x6 Plaque, 5x7 Plaque and 8x10 plaque file with all the page, layer & guideline settings and then have the print job settings saved under the same file name.

John Jackson
06-05-2014, 11:53 AM
Thanks Mike!

John Jackson
06-22-2014, 9:20 AM
I have been following Chris's suggetion of putting the laser settings in the worksheet, and it has already saved me a few times.

Mike Lysov
06-22-2014, 6:31 PM
If you name curves, layers and pages in a cdr file with relevant to customers' details text data you can find a required file using just a regular Windows search.
There is absolutely no need to use a note attribute when you save cdr files. Windows search searches through any text data saved inside a cdr file.

Bill Stearns
06-22-2014, 7:15 PM
Hi -
I go 'step further in organizing my CorelDraw work files. I have customers' jobs organized in folders called: City - County - Foundations - Police/Fire Depts - Sports Groups, etc. Works for me! For general customers I place their work into folders called "Key Customers" - Past Customers - Misc. Customers. (those never-to-be-seen-again customers.) As for specific graphics and logos, I keep 'em in a general "logos" file and "graphics" file - sub-grouped by the type of graphic. (Wildlife, etc.) Wouldn't dream of organizing my files by "years" as fast as the years go by; I would never recall which year. As for using Windows Search each time - what' a hassle that seems. IMO. Ultimately, how we organize our files - our entire computer 'n desktop for that matter - has 'lot to do with how our minds work; don't you think?