Staying Organized with Folders and Albums


Labeling is a very necessary part of smart digital asset management (DAM), but it isn’t the only thing that contributes to a well-managed media library. Digital assets also need to be properly sorted to make them easily discoverable and manageable in a simplified manner.

We’ve found that many companies discover their need for a DAM system when sorting a collection of media files becomes an overwhelming issue for them. They’re often using local hard drives, which can provide a folder structure, but not an easily accessible central repository. File storage services, like Dropbox or Box, do provide a centralized cloud storage option, but not with the media-centric features that Canto offers.

Canto’s organized sorting conventions can be achieved with folders, albums, and Smart Albums. They’re effectiveness is contingent on how they’re structured in the application and how they’re applied to a company’s workflow.


What’s the difference between folders and albums?

This is the main question we receive regarding folders and albums. Discerning between the two is actually very easy in Canto; just keep these two things in mind:

Albums hold assets

Folders hold albums and subfolders

It’s helpful to remember that folders cannot hold individual assets. They must hold an album that contains the assets.


Sorting Assets with the Folder and Album Structure

When we discussed labeling with keywords and tags, we noted how they’re used for broad and specific contexts. The higher-level organization (keywords) covered broader classifications and lower-level organization (tags) focused on more specific details. Sorting assets with folders and albums is similar: folders should be used for broader concepts while subfolders and albums can be more specific.

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In this example, the high-level folders are named Branding, Integrations, Marketing, and Photography. These naming conventions represent concepts that can be broken down into smaller and more defined parts. Integrations, in particular, holds albums that are meant for specific assets to be used with pre-built integrations within Canto’s application.

Although the naming conventions of a structure will be different for every company, it will stick if the high-level folders do too. They should be broad, but concrete in the sense that they will likely not changed within the Canto account. Chances are a company will always need dedicated collateral for a Marketing department and somewhere to establish branding guidelines, so those can be good examples to pull from.


Smart Albums

The convenience of Smart Albums is that they provide an automatic organization feature for Canto users. It can be easily utilized and integrated into workflows, or just as easily ignored completely.

When a file is uploaded or migrated into Canto, it will automatically be placed into one of six Smart Albums.

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These albums are distinguished by type:

  • Images – .jpg, .png, .tif, and more
  • Videos – .mov, .mp4, and more
  • Audio – .mp3, .flac, .wav, and more
  • Documents – .doc, .pdf, .xls, and more
  • Presentations – specifically for Powerpoint (.ppt) presentations
  • Other – any other type of file that doesn’t fit the other Smart Album categories

Smart Albums can provide an organizational foundation for a folder or album structure, or work as a backup plan when searching for a specific file by it’s type. When combined with the labeling conventions of keywords and tags, Canto provides a media library with multiple avenues towards easy location and management of assets. If you’d like to try organizing your assets with these features, try out Canto today.