Plague: Folders in SharePoint Document Libraries?
I'd love to hear what others have to say, but I really dislike the use of folders in SharePoint document libraries. They cause a disconnect which prevents the effective use of custom views to “mine” information. My motto?--- let the Metadata help you to organize the documents, rather than rigid storage hierarchies. Often when a SharePoint newbie sits down in front of a Document Library for the first time, they begin creating folders like they did in the file system, and I cringe. Also, as a frequent consumer of the contents of document libraries, I don't want to have to figure out how to navigate a folder hierarchy to find a file-- I'd much rather use search, filters, and custom views to find relevant stuff.
For example, a really smart colleague created a folder called "PMO Minutes and Agendas" in a document library… my response was to suggest that we:
a) keep the documents in ONE place
b) create 2 custom columns: Department (which would contain PMO as a choice), and Document Type (which would contain Minutes and Agendas as a choice)
The beauty of this approach is that I can create custom views like "PMO Minutes and Agendas", or "Minutes and Agendas", or "PMO" to slice and dice the contents of the library… I can even simulate a folder hierarchy by using grouping on these columns. If we have stuff in folders, it doesn't work that way.
Also, I can use one of my favorite tricks… when I'm emailing someone and talking about a set of documents or one specific document, I do this:
1) in the document library, click the Filter button in the toolbar
2) set up column filters so that the document(s) you're interested in are displayed-- you have to click the "Change Filter" button each time you need to add another filter
3) copy the URL from the address field of your browser
4) paste the URL into your email message… it will look something like this:
Admittedly, it's extremely ugly, but it takes the user precisely to a filtered view of a document library that could contain a ton of documents…
Maybe I'm missing something obvious?