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Creative Ops

How to filter your content library to find gold (literally)

March 01, 2022 · 3 min read

It’s 10PM. Do you know where your creative assets are?

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and cloud storage. Anyone with an internet-enabled device has a Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive account. Any business creating content for their social channels, website, store, newsletters, and so on, has countless cloud folders absolutely stuffed with assets.

The problem with cloud storage is that actually finding the file you’re looking for is rarely easy. Is it in your Dropbox or just somewhere on your hard drive? Which folder is it in? Is it on your coworker’s laptop? What if they’re out of office for the next week?

Just storage isn’t enough anymore. With businesses scaling content production and headcount at an exponential rate, effective storage navigation has become essential. What use is your amazing creative library if it’s locked up in folders and boxes?

Single source of truth: more than just corporate lingo

The number one tip for getting rid of “where’s the file” headaches: just use one storage platform. Having a “single source of truth” is crucial. Particularly in the era of remote work and distributed teams, having just one place to turn to when you need to find something will save you hours of your life.

Wherever you prefer to store your assets — Dropbox, Google Drive, or Air — just pick one, get your whole team on it, set up an organization system that makes sense, and commit.

Stop wasting time searching every folder. If you can describe it, you can find it

It’s difficult to maintain a high standard of organization. Folders within folders within folders, duplicated files, confusing naming habits — when you have a massive, ever-increasing amount of creative assets, mistakes are bound to happen.

Here’s where Air really stands a head above the rest. Every visual file you upload is scanned for content and automatically tagged with keywords, so you can find your images without needing to know where they live or what they’re called. It’s like having Google Image search in your content library.

An example of Air’s automatic keywords at work, from our case study on the James Beard Foundation.

Filter out the noise, find exactly what you need in an instant

If you liked content-based search, you’re going to love how Air does filters. Take the below screenshot as an example. I’ve built a four part filter here.

I’m searching for assets that are:

  1. Tagged “fruit”

  2. Predominantly yellow

  3. Uploaded by my colleague Brian

  4. Uploaded in June 2021

By default, you have a few easy-access filters underneath the search bar in your library; workspace admins can change which filters are available here. The rest are accessible in the filter builder.

The options are endless. Basically, if you can remember any detail about an image or video you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it in moments. Maybe you’re thinking, ”hmm, I’m pretty sure our graphic designer Sandra made this great illustration last December before she left the company. Why did she have to leave, she was so good at her job, ugh.”

Just filter for Uploader: Sandra and Date uploaded: 12/01/21 – 12/31/21, and Sandra’s stellar illustration will pop right up.

Yeah, you could choose Dropbox as your single source of truth. But you still wouldn’t be able to find a given asset on a whim. Air’s search and filter features enable you to quickly find anything you’re looking for, without knowing what folder it’s in or what it’s called. As long as you know anything about the asset, even just what colors it has, you’ll be to find it with ease.

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