As many designers, I sometimes find myself designing elements not for a particular project but only because inspiration was there and I might use it in a later project. It could be a button, an icon, a character or whatever.

When they are finished, I used to just through them inside a folder, which I would reorganise later when I have time. But as their number is growing it becomes more and more difficult to find what I'm looking for.

I think this could be fixed by abandonning folders introducing some tagging system with a search feature, but I would like to hear some thoughts from other designers.

How do you organise and sort you work to be able to retrieve it later efficiently? What software do you use?

  • 1
    A pricey, but great solution to the problem is Adobe Bridge
    – K.L.
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 0:10
  • ctrlpaint.com/videos/staying-inspired-and-organized
    – K.L.
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 0:26
  • I simply organize a folder with subfolders - icons, buttons, figures, men, women, background, textures. I find Bridge to be bloatware, although many like it.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


If you have a good folder structure (something you follow for every project, plus 'general' resources folders), Bridge or a similar program that shows previews for files like PSD, AI or PDF, should be good enough. I had hundreds of resources to navigate at a previous job, and I used Bridge + IrfranView quite successfully.

Otherwise you could use a database with queries for the different file types (no idea of the specifics), or, if you have a chaos, automate the sorting side of the process using something in the lines of Digital Janitor.

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