When I first started using Liquid Story Binder XE, I used a very simple file structure: I saved dossiers by character name and builders by draft number.
The larger my Guardians binder grew, though, the more difficult it got to wade through all the files in search of the one I needed. I could never remember if I’d saved “Itor Verka” by her full name or just by “Verka” — or even by her old name, Burga — and how could I tell a species apart from a location just at a glance?
Grouping by type
Aside from an overdue spring clean, I needed a way to group my Liquid Story Binder files the same way pages can be grouped on a wiki. I renamed files to add “tags” so I could skim through Characters to get to Locations. “Itor Verka” became “Characters_Itor Verka” instead.
Then my book became a trilogy and my Liquid Story Binder file tripled in size almost overnight. I couldn’t find the dossier for the main character in Book 2 because he was sandwiched between minor characters from Books 1 and 3. If I wanted to find a location, I had to scan through dozens of names just to find the “Locations_” tag.
I needed yet another solution.
You could create separate binders for each book, of course, but that just feels like too much work to me. It can take several minutes to close Liquid Story Binder if you have auto backup enabled, but you can’t have multiple instances running at the same time (as far as I know, anyway) so you can’t flip between books in the same series to compare information.
It would also mean repeating or importing the same files for each book in a series and then keeping them all updated individually. It’s just easier to keep a single binder.
Grouping by book
I’m not sure where I saw it, but an article somewhere gave me the idea to tag files by book, too.
I wasn’t going to save files as “TheDragonLord_Characters_Itor Verka” because the file names were already getting a bit unwieldy, so I used the same short codes I’d come up with for my spreadsheets.
“Characters_Itor Verka” became “DL_Characters_Itor Verka” and I could now skip right down to Book 3 before having to scan for what I wanted (e.g. “GR_Organisations_Military”), or keep files in the “All_” group if they related to multiple books.
I also now have a tag for files that I need to keep for some reason (mostly because I’m a pack-rat) but that are no longer applicable. For these, I put “X” as a prefix so they’re at the bottom of the list of files when you sort by type.
How do you stay organised?
How do you structure your files in Liquid Story Binder? Do you group them at all or is your binder still small enough that you don’t need to worry about it? Would you do things differently if you were starting fresh or do you like your current setup?