Disasters in Mustard Yellow and the Future of Digital Asset Management

Tagging instead of filing: This clearly better approach to sorting media is only now being introduced at many companies. Now that the assumed order, the created structure all too often turns out to be team-produced chaos. Often enough, the situation requires not only a restructuring, but a complete system change.

Digital folder structures – Disasters in mustard yellow

Everybody knows them: the digital folders on screens all around the world, displayed in esthetically pleasing mustard yellow (not!), about as up-to-date as the corduroy pants of the guy in accounting who is preparing for retirement. Corporate networks usually feature a plethora of mustard yellow, dangerously sprouting tree structures. In the end, you don’t see the wood for the trees: Where are the pictures of the 2016 press gala? Where’s the social media version of our image film? And where the heck is the logo on transparent background?? Filed under Company // Coporate Design // Graphics&Layout // Logo? Or not. Too bad. But that would have been too easy anyway. Take another tour around the yellow folder forest. Under Marketing maybe? Or Trade Fair? As the search goes on, the mouse buttons click faster and louder. Through empty folders. Ancient files. Cute little attempts to establish something, like “Laura_Logo_Brainstorming”. Or dead-ends such as “Project Folder_Current_Updated_cw.ALT(2)”.

The tagging revolution and a crucial question

When it comes to the developments in media management, the trend has long changed direction. Increasingly, companies stop using folders only to organize their files: Keywords are added to data sets, i.e. data is tagged, and then stored in folders. But this is where a crucial question arises: Why do both? Why tag and then also file in folders? The answer is pretty simple: Filing is a habit. This way of organizing files is familiar to all users, internal workflows are tailored to it, and almost all digital asset management systems are based on this organizational structure. However, the time where folders were necessary has long gone. So while many people are starting to tag, they often don’t think big enough. Often a complete system change is advisable in order to create long-term and sustainable order—in a best case scenario completely without folders…

AdmiralCloud – A DAM system that does completely without folders

So if you want to go beyond doing without folder structures and change your media asset management system, you may want to consider AdmiralCloud—a system that does not use any folders at all and offers optimized tagging.

When companies try to cope with their growing data volumes and the associated asset management requirements, sooner or later every folder structure will reach its limits—or the staff who despair trying to establish order. This is where the crucial benefit of DAM systems with tagging capabilities, such as AdmiralCloud, comes in: When users file data, they no longer have to decide themselves where to place their data as the system thinks, learns and suggests tags. As a result, people searching for the file later don’t have to recall the reminder or logic of the initial administrator—the system actually takes over this thought process. Because tagging is based on the swarm intelligence of all users. This way, searches become faster every time: The desperate search for the logo on transparent background leads to results for the tag “Logo Transparent” as well as “Marketing”—and perhaps even if Laura enters “Laura_Logo_Brainstorming”. And all that without a single folder.

Additional benefits of AdmiralCloud:

  • Various auto-tagging features support the user in quickly establishing the right tags for the file.
  • The face, image, text and speech recognition provides further suggestions.
  • A tagging guard monitors the tags used.


If you are prepared to restructure things anyway, if the company is willing to take the necessary step to reorganize, you should do it right and go all out. If you clear the folder forest, why not also prepare the ground for healthy new growth at the same time? This is where a modern media asset management system like AdmiralCloud comes in. The best approach is to compare your own system and evaluate shortcomings and benefits. There have been major advances, not only in the organizational structure but also in scripting language. Whatever you do, rest assured that your mustard yellow folder structures can retire along with the guy in corduroy pants.