Lose the Folder in SharePoint

Folders have their place in the world.  They are right at home in the metal cabinet next to your desk. They even live comfortably within Windows Explorer.  But…. in a SharePoint environment, I’m not convinced they belong.

Document Libraries in SharePoint make an excellent alternative to storing your files in a traditional file server.  One potential obstacle in implementing the use of document libraries is, people are used to saving everything in folders on a file server.  They love their folders.

Folders can be created in a Document library.  This makes it easy for people to revert back to the “good ‘ole way” and create folder after folder, with folders in folders.  What’s the harm in using folders if that is what everyone is used to?

Disadvantages of using Folders:

  • Creating Views in Document Library-  Views do not display files within folders.
  • Filtering within Document Library lists does not work properly.
  • Flexibility is lost with folders.

Folders do have their place.

  • Custom permission can be created within individual folders.  This makes adjusting security easier.

In my opinion, folders should be used as little as possible.  Properly setting up a Document library will make the end user experience much better.  You can easily create views based off of keywords that can accomplish the same idea as folders.  You can also take full advantage of filtering.

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