How To Use Digital Asset Management

What is Digital Asset Management?  Anything you store on your computer: pictures, e-mails, documents, music, movies, spreadsheets, etc. is a digital asset.  Digital Asset Management is merely the method of keeping track of where all those assets are.  It can also help you view those assets on electronic media other than computers, such as T.V.'s, phones, etc.  It doesn't help you to have that terrific photo, or to save that really cool e-mail if you can't find it when you want it.  Digital Asset Management helps you catalog all those assets so that you can find them when you want them. 

  1. You can purchase software that can help you organize and catalog your digital assets.  Depending on the type and quantity of your assets, you may want to research software options that can help you.  You can also find open source digital asset management software.  Open source means that you are free to download and use the software.  There isn't any requirement that you use any specific software, in fact pretty much any method you want to use to sort and organize your assets can be identified as Digital Asset Management. 
  2. Regardless of which software you choose, you will have to do some work.  Files aren't going to sort themselves.  You will have to set up the organization in a manner that makes sense for you.  Make sure you use headings and subfolders that you understand.  If you spend a lot of time getting everything organized, but you still can't find things because the keywords or titles don't make sense to you, you wasted a lot of time.  So make sure that you spend a decent amount of time setting up the systems, not just cataloguing things.
  3. After you get things going, identify your new files promptly and properly.  It is far easier to accurately categorize a file to the location it should go to when the file is fresh and you remember what it is and why you have it.   If you are going to save a file to your computer, it is less work in the long run to do it right the first time.  The added bonus is that the next time you need it; it will be right where it should be. 
  4. Setting up a good Digital Asset Management system isn't a one-time thing.  It's an ongoing process.   You may find as you work with your system that some methods work better than others for you.  It is usually a very personalized process.  Don't be afraid to experiment a little.  You don't want to get everything done and then decide you don't like the software program you are using.  Check out a few and choose the one that works best for you.


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