Anyone working in a post-production field knows (or at least should know) the importance of a good file structure and naming system. With information, media, various files and more coming at you from every direction it can be difficult to find a place for everything. However, if a client abruptly requests a very specific clip or document and you can’t find it you will be in trouble. What are you to do? Check out an application like Post Haste.
Post Haste is a project management tool with a special focus on file structure and naming systems via the use of various templates. Post Haste is great for audio and video professionals, web and graphic designers, photographers, animators and anyone else with a need to keep projects and project assets neat and organized. Read on to learn more about what Post Haste does, what it has to offer and some of my thoughts on the application.
If you don’t have a file system that you prefer or if you are open to a brand new system, the default templates found in Post Haste might provide just what you need. Post Haste comes pre-installed with templates for motion graphics, photography, video editing, web design and visual effects. If you find that one of these categories fits your work, then trying a default template is definitely the way to go.
It’s important to understand the basic contents of the pre-installed templates. The categories present are generally found in all of the templates. There are sections for files from the clients, various project files, approval files and final exports. The video editing template, for example, contains areas for media, client’s files, project files (from After Effects, FCP, Illustrator and Photoshop), exports for delivery and DVD, an audio section and more. Most of the areas that you could possibly need are present in the pre-installed templates.
Making it Your Own
Now that you understand the basic premise of what Post Haste sets out to accomplish, it’s important to understand how the application is used to create your very own projects. The first step is to start a new project. When you start a new project you can choose the project number and name, the client and the project editor. You can also choose the default save location of the project at this screen. Finally, choose the template you prefer at this time.
If the options to choose from when creating a new project aren’t quite detailed enough for you, Post Haste allows users to add more parameters to the project. Through the parameters section in the settings you can add titles, values, settings and more for any parameter you can think of. While the default parameters are likely sufficient for most, the ability to add just about any parameter necessary is a great feature of Post Haste, allowing the program to be customized for most users and client/project situations.
While chances are good that you won’t find it necessary to mess with the parameters very often, most people working in post-production already have a file system in place that they prefer. If this is the case for you, it is important to learn to edit the existing templates or even create your own. Editing the existing templates is definitely the easier option. It is a simple process to drag and drop folders as you find it necessary to organize them. Adding additional folders if needed is also quite simple, done with the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. You can also delete folders and items as necessary. For example, if you don’t need audio files, simply delete the audio folder using the minus sign.
If your system is completely different from Post Haste’s system, or if you are working on a different type of project than they have installed by default, then you can create your own template. This is definitely more difficult than editing the existing templates, but gives you all of the freedom you could need. Simply add new folders to create the structure and naming system you would like. You can also add a variety of project files, including Adobe Creative Suite files, FCP files, text files and more. Additionally, if you have a file structure you already utilize, you can import the files to create a new template.
Last but not least, if you haven’t been able to create a structure that suits your needs, you can check out the other, miscellaneous settings. Choose the template save location, choose what happens after a project is created, and even require a password to do various things like editing templates, although the password option is only available in the version downloaded directly from the Post Haste website. You can also change project save locations, date formats and even choose a strict naming option. This option allows only letters, numbers, – and _ in the file names. Finally, if you have purchased the accompanying Pro Media Tools you can enable keyboard shortcuts to help speed up the process of saving and organizing files.
I had the opportunity to try Post Haste both on my personal projects and on a project within the production company I work at. Both times the application was an astounding success. The application is free and although creating the templates can be a bit of a pain at the very beginning, once the templates are made they are a lifesaver. Having an application to help keep my files neat and organized has been incredible.
My biggest complaint is the interface. While parts of it are simple and easy to figure out, there are many settings and options that it are quite hard to find. It’s not the most well-designed application I have ever used and that problem makes enjoying an otherwise fantastic application much harder.
In the grand scheme of things, however, the interface really just means a bit of a steeper learning curve. Once you get the application set up, chances are good that your company or just you will be sold. Post Haste makes a tedious and challenging task into a simple and automatic one. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried Post Haste before or do you have an application that you prefer instead? Share all of your thoughts in the comments below.