A common question from newbies in the digital organizing world is what files to keep, and what files to delete? How do you decide? In this article, we’ll cover the basics, so that you will understand exactly what files will be beneficial to keep, and which ones won’t matter! if you’d rather see the video, scroll down a bit or click here!
Digital files are pretty self-explanatory. They are simply all the files in your digital world. No surprise there. But it’s important to understand that not all digital files are assets, and if they’re not, you don’t need to save them.
In most cases, we actually save too much. Call it FOMO if you want, but we are often so worried about losing our files that we don’t deleting anything at all, and that actually has the opposite effect. Now it becomes hard to find things, especially if you’re in a larger or fast-growing business.
The biggest reason why it’s so important to manage your digital assets is because when you do, you can invest and the re-invest in the form of repurposing. Repurposing content is how we, as creators, stay productive. A well developed content repurposing plan will save you countless hours of work, not to mention energy!
Let’s define what a digital asset is, so that we’re all clear on the definition. According to Wikipedia, an asset is a “resource with economic value that an individual or corporation owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.” They’re mainly referring to physical assets, I suppose.
I see it slightly differently because I distinguish between resources and assets. In my opinion, an asset is “something of value that you own that you can repurpose or somehow make use of later on, in order to save either time, energy, or money.”
A resource to me is “something that I benefit from that is owned by someone or something else,” which means that unless I somehow acquire it, it’s not a resource. This is an important distinction to make because there are often licensing or copyright challenges around resources, and those need to be acknowledged.
Some great examples of digital assets are:
Anything that is not useful to you or your business now or in the future isn’t a digital asset and can be deleted. You may decide to keep some files for sentimental purposes only even if they’re not “useful” per se (photos are the most common here), but there likely won’t be as many of those.
Managing your digital files isn’t all that different from managing your money. You have to know where it’s stored, what accounts are open, and how it transfers. The D.A.M. world is no different. It’s the basically the same process – understanding where they are stored, how the accounts work, and how to export them properly.
When deciding what to keep and what to delete, consider if you will use it now or in the future. Could it possibly save you time, money, or energy by being repurposed. If not, it is sentimental? Only you can decide what stays and what goes, but create consistent criteria so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Digital assets are ALL digital files, but not all files are digital assets.
And who is your designated digital asset manager?
Figure that out, and your business will thrive.
@ 2009 - 2022 The Swedish Organizer, LLC
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