Monday, November 22, 2010

Managing Content

Here's a little suggestion related to the ongoing (maybe terminal) content situation we've been facing ever since computers started helping us do our work. Where and how do we organize our stuff? For Revit I recommend this approach as a starting point. People are creative and this may not cut it for you or your firm but it works pretty well on average. I recommend the following folders.
  • Revit Stock Content (their stuff)
  • Office Content (your stuff)
  • Project Content (the project's stuff)
  • 3rd Party Content (everybody else's stuff)
Why go to the trouble to keep them separate? Why not just dump them all in one folder? Well for me one reason is versions, versions of Revit. IF you have to support projects using more than one version (2009, 2010, 2011 not RAC versus RST) you'll realize it needs to be obvious which version families were created for. We can't use 2011 families with older projects. Another reason is that I don't want to mix it all together just to try to keep my sanity. We can use careful naming conventions to avoid confusion and overwriting files by accident but separate folders seems more obvious to me. Naming is a whole nuther can O'worms! Once a family is inside a project its name will spark another conversation so folders with good naming conventions is a balanced team.

The workflow is something like this:
  • I need something
  • I look in our Office Content - find it/use it
  • If not, I look in Revit Stock Content - find it/use it
    • or search 3rd Party Content
  • I'm not satisfied with either - modify it/use it
  • I save it in Project Content (our quarantine)
  • We review Project Content for promotion to Office Content
As a diagram or flow chart consider this:

You can also consider organizing the content into specific folders (Office Content) so that it becomes more obvious to users what is available/appropriate. You can also consider a product like Kiwi Codes Family Browser.

This application lets you define collections of families into tabs within their user interface. This means the content can be any where you want but the users gain access to only the content you really want/need them to use. Pretty slick!

No comments: