Over the last year, I have finally freed my mind from the rigid shackles of folder structure – thanks to the mind-expanding magic of metadata. I have also discovered a new hobby – exploring the various rabbit holes of endless folders in our legacy SharePoint site via Windows Explorer.
I treat my explorations like detective work – wandering through the maze of passages, peering and poking at various files each one a clue to discern the essence of the original creator’s design. Once identified, the logic behind the categorization can be translated into an eloquent taxonomy.
This metadata is the key to transforming the series of claustrophobic broom closets connected by narrow hallways into an all-glass open concept penthouse apartment that spans the entire top floor of a modern high rise, the view changes depending on which window you peer out of.
So what is the secret to potion that has the power to transform one’s experience from broom closet banality to a world of endless possibilities?
I admit that I am still a humble student at the alchemy of information management. Distilling an elixir that is simultaneously potent and palatable is an art that I hope to master in this lifetime. My colleague Bruce Norman Smith, our resident Information Management Advisor, has adapted his Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies to our work with SharePoint design.
The key is to quickly condense the thesaurus of options and extract the most useful keywords to allow users to navigate to their intended destination with ease.
In the meantime, I continue to explore the guts of our SharePoint Intranet archive using Open with Explorer. The rhythmic click-click-click of the mouse late at night as I attack the file structure like a video game boss has the tendency to drive those around me into a mild infuriation.
If your loved ones find the “clickity-clack” of the keys slightly less offensive, here’s a few crucial keyboard shortcuts I stumbled upon to help you on your journey, as well as speed up your pace:
When using the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to navigate between folders, and using the Enter key to select a folder or file, consider giving these two for a spin:
Back = Alt + Left Arrow // Forward = Alt + Right Arrow
(And stay tuned for a future post where I wax poetic about the necessity and value of folders in certain select situations.)