Do you guys keep 10 year old project files?

Hey, do you guys makes the backup of project files as time progresses or do you delete it as it is taking space on the hard drive? Also, how do you guys manage and organized the stuff ?

All sits on a server going back to at least 2009 - and there’s backups prior to this on disks somewhere.

Orgainsed with job no’s and a standard filing system.

Does these old files have any used or they are there as souvenir?

They may have a use. There’s no way to know. That’s the reason to keep them. Storage is cheap.

Storage is cheap, but it is difficult to organized and manage stuff with Old and New.

Hmm, I suppose I’ve really never had a problem with that; folders named by year, subfolders named by client; subfolders named by project. I guess there is some measure of self-discipline in never letting it get disorganized in the first place. Where exactly do you have a problem?

I have a few jobs back to 2004. They are kept on cloud storage now (with onsite backup) and saved forward.

Little one shots though get saved to general archive storage for 3-5 years. Beyond that, they do go to archive but you pay an hour of billable time for me to go look, with no guarantee I will be able to retrieve it. I might find it in 10 minutes, but you still pay the hour.

Like HB said, by year and by client/job name. And a well organized catalog structure. You may have to pick a date and do better moving forward. Trying to organize 10 years of jobs? Time consuming.

It is just that I am installing new SSD hard drive. Now I need to create the backup of the stuff which is important for me. In my stuff there are lots of stuff which is more than 5 years old, and I was thinking why bother to keep the backup of old stuff as it is most likely never going to be used. Also, the project folder are not that organized I have to open each project manually in the respected software such Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop to see what’s in it. Besides, I does not know what is the standard practice to keep the stuff organized.

Of course that’s a decision only you can make. I have every client file I ever generated, but that’s not the right approach for everyone.

Adobe Bridge is very useful for that. In one app you can see every PS, AI, InDD, and PDF, in addition to all the less Adobe-specific formats.

There are asset management applications available that impose conventions of their own, but there really is no “standard practice”. You, as the practitioner, devise your own standard practice(s) to fit your needs and work style.

Just last week I had repeat orders for jobs from 2004 and 2008. I never throw anything away - too many of my clients are fond of going back to the version before (sometimes with a few tweaks).

Everything current is on my internal SSD, with everything backed up on external SSDs along with archive files older than a couple of years or so.

When SSDs became cheap enough we copied all our archived off the old external HDs, which took some time.

I keep all of my client files. However, I don’t keep them on my computer’s internal hard drive. The only files on my hard drive are current projects and projects waiting to be archived. Archiving (long term storage of old files) is done via external hard drive since there is no need for them to be on my internal hard drive. I make two copies or archived work. One stays in my office for easy access. The other stays off site for redundancy purposes.

Several months ago someone here brought me a boxful of old Zip100s from 1998. Not only did we manage to get a Zip drive running, those old drives still worked! And we pulled a bunch of assets off them that surprised the heck out of the client.
Having lived through the Jazz drive crashes previous to the Zips, I was somewhat more than amazed.
You could only fill a Jazz drive to maybe half capacity before they would corrupt.

My service agreement says that files are kept for one year. That’s my official statement.

What about the personal project portfolio? Do you guys also kept the backup of old personal project files?

Backup everything.

Well that’s escalated quickly

A couple of years ago, I looked through about 25 Zip 100s that contained some of my ancient projects. I rescued an old Iomega USB Zip 250 drive from the trash at work. It worked perfectly as did all the 25-year-old disks. I was surprised. I didn’t find anything particularly useful on the disks, but I did find a few things that I had forgotten about.

I make a conscientious effort to organize and file away the essentials on a couple of different drives (both personal and work projects). But if I keep them longer than four or five years, it’s usually the result of me just not having deleted them yet. I haven’t found keeping old files for longer than that being especially useful. I do have exceptions, though, and there have been occasions where I wish I still had something that no longer exists.

If you’re smart, you build your business so it’s a financial asset that you can sell at some point in the future. It’s going to be worth more if everything is organized, archived and follows best practices.

I have every job I have ever done since working for myself. On a raid drive and then a third copy on a external usb drive.

Each job has a job number and is in folders by year, so I only have to reference the job logging software to find what I need. Granted, it’s not often, but it has happened and it’s always nice when you can get hold of something you did 15 years back, in seconds. For what I costs, I don’t see why you wouldn’t.

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