It's late. You want to go to sleep, but you just can't find that file you need to finish your podcast.
Using a system to name your files and a folder structure to organize them will help you sleep better at night.
The following video shows how I name the finished episode file, but the folder arrangement is helpful too:
Do you organize your files in a similar way?
Here's how I do it for more than 15 shows I produce on a weekly basis:
The first step is to create a Podcast folder – just for your podcast.
If you only have one show then this Master folder is home base for all your podcasting activities.
As you can see in the image above, I have a master folder called “PCAST CLIENTS”.
This holds all my client's folders (and even parks some Clammrs so I can help promote their shows on release day).
Think about everything you need for your podcast:
- Pre-recorded bits
- Show artwork
- Notes about show format or instructions
I call these things “ASSETS”. They are pieces of the podcast that may be used in every episode or occasionally, like a rotation of sponsored ads.
The image above highlights EB5 Investment Voice podcast. Inside the ASSETS folder are pre-produced intro and outro segments, various lengths of their show music, a note about their format along with the ID3 tag information, and various archived stuff.
I will pull from these “assets” when putting a new episode together.
Each episode needs its own folder. Whether you are sharing a DropBox or Google Drive folder, the newly recorded content for each episode MUST be separated by folders. Trust me, it will help keep you from pulling your hair out.
The folder names will contain information unique to that episode, like the guest name or episode number. Many of my clients also include the date the episode is to be published (very helpful).
While I normally only include the episode number and the guest's name (or topic), it's not a bad idea to include an acronym for the podcast if you juggle multiple shows.
The folder highlighted above is a completed project (hence the √ at the beginning of the file name). Inside the EPISODE folders are show notes, episode artwork (if any), the fully-produced episode (covered in the video at the beginning of this post) and three sub-subfolders: ARCHIVE, SEGMENTS, and x2DELETE.
Why the letter x before the 2Delete folder? I like to use symbols and letters to keep things organized my own special way.
The ARCHIVE folder contains the full podcast project. I use Audacity, so it contains the .aup and _data files.
Some shows, like Stacking Benjamins, have multiple segments. Most only have three: Intro, Interview, and Outro. The SEGMENTS folder is where I keep the edited recordings until it's time to piece the full show together.
The original recordings and any non-essential files that can be deleted without worry are kept here. For example: When PTMoney provides me his .mov Skype recording with Emily Guy Birken, I keep his original in DropBox but make a copy for my x2DELETE folder. His intro/takeaway segment is also kept there, while the Audacity projects that come out of opening/importing such files are stored in the ARCHIVE folder.
This ensures I always have the original source recording and a copy inside the Audacity Project – just in case.
This simple folder and file-naming structure for podcasting has helped me save countless hours by organizing files and helping with searches if I ever lose one.