The power of Dash comes from making your digital assets (e.g. photography, brand collateral, product videos, documents), more searchable. The easier it is to find the asset you need, the more time you save and the faster you can then use it in your workflows.
The most obvious way to organise your assets is by using folders, and this is a great start, but to really help your users, you want to consider adding additional information to your assets. Each piece of information you add to an asset is called metadata and you can capture that metadata in custom fields (previously called attributes). Each field represents a group of related information, such as a list of product names or a list of usage rights that you can choose from.
It can be tempting to organise everything in a large hierarchical folder structure, but the drawback of this is that is limits the searches you can do to just a particular folder. By keeping your folder structure smaller and using additional custom fields instead, you can combine information in your searches to really open up the power of search to your users.
For example, let's say you have created a folder structure based on quarterly campaigns, and have sub-folders for two different photographers who regularly contribute content, and you like to be able to view photos by each photographer. You also want to be able to see which assets are final and approved.
Here's what that might look like:
I can click on folder "David C" under "Summer 2021" to view all of David's photos used in that campaign. but there are two drawbacks:
I've had to create duplicate copies of each photographer name under each campaign folder, adding to my admin overhead
I can't do a search for Finals shot by a specific photographer. I can click on the Finals folder, OR the photographer folder, but I can't combine those two pieces of information.
Using custom fields and folders together
To save time, reduce admin time, and increase the types of searches I could do, I could create two new fields, one for the photographer name, and one for the approval status of the photos, like this:
Now, you can see I've cleaned up the folder structure so I am focussed just on the campaign, and then I can select from the photographer or the approval status as separate filters. These can be selected in any combination you choose to combine searches to narrow down the results to just the assets you wants to see, such as:
Show me all pending photos by David C
Show me just approved photos by Julie H for the Autumn 2021 campaign
Remember, there is no right or wrong on how you use folders and fields to store important information about your assets. What is most important is that you:
Understand what types of searches your users want to do, to help you know what sort of information they might want to combine and search by.
Learn about the different types of custom fields available to you.
Set up some fields, tag your assets, and try out some searches!
What custom field types are available?
See this article for a breakdown of all available field types and when to use them: