• Interesting idea and I forgot about this little known feature. However I just find it overly complicated around the main problem which is information management. You go to extensive lengths here to organize information but IMHO I would just say slap a choice field on the list called Building Type with the values you want (or create different content types but that might be overkill). I’m missing the elegant option here. Why use folders when metadata gives you the same end result and seems to be easier? I know, it’s a discussion over beers or something but I’m not seeing the advantage here.

  • Bil, I agree I really just wanted to highlight a little-known feature. To me, the one real advantage of folders is being able to selectively connect folders to Outlook for working offline. If you didn’t have that as a need or requirement… then folders probably wouldn’t be necessary. I see SO many people still using folders, and insisting on folders. Maybe using some of the methods in this blog post, you could come to sort of a compromise, and only use, say, one level of folders.

  • As much as everyone “hates” folders I think they do have their place in v3 SharePoint. Another one of those “it sort of works in 2007” vs. “it’s much better in 2010” is the tree view for hierarchical navigation in document libraries. At least in 2007 you can have your folder hierarchy displayed via the tree view navigation. It’s not perfect but can sometimes help the transition for end users when a complete jump to “all meta-data, all the time” just won’t work. That said, I think the new and improved meta-data navigation in 2010 is a significant improvement…

  • peter.klug@gmail.com

    Question for the ones advocating against folders – is there a way to have two documents with the same name (same file name) in a doclib without using folders?

  • Peter, No, there isn’t a way to do that. Why, and what would be the business case for that?

  • manofason@gmail.com

    Peter, Question for the ones advocating FOR folders – is there a way to have a document exist in two folders? Folders still have their place, when they describe a unique, intrinsic, single-valued attribute of all files contained therein: – All Project Reports – All Meeting Minutes but not when they *try* to reflect multi-valued attributes: – All Project X Documents – All Project Y Documents Now where do I put that document (meeting minutes, multi-project review etc.) that refers to both projects?

  • zubairn@gmail.com

    Hi, What about permissions? Is the ability to assign permissions at folder levels a case for FOR folders? I have a document library for our IT projects. I am creating a new folder for each new project. Each of the project folders contains sub-folders for each phase of the project, Analysis, Design, Contracts etc… However after reading this blog, i have used the concepts explained here. Navigation is certainly much easier now. However, i am still wondering if i should continue to keep the folders (they are not visible to users anymore) as they serve the purpose of assigning permissions. E.g., the folders allow us to give access on a need to know basis. Business users involved in the requirements definition get access to Analysis folder, Contracts, not everyone should have access and so on. Would appreciate your thoughts on this scenario. thanks

  • Yes Zubairn, That would be a case to use folders, but just don’t use them too extensively. I recommend keeping it to maybe one level of folders with permissions. Beyond that, when you get to sub-sub folders and item permissions, it gets to be quite a hassle to manage.

  • All the pictures within this post are missing now… Would you please let me know where I could find them? I would really like to know the details about it.

    Thanks Laura!

  • oh yeah I fixed the pictures a while back. I also updated the title today, and added the fact that it’s applicable in other versions of SharePoint.

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