Best file clean-up habit – ever!

Hi everyone,

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Life is so busy right now for me. We moved sold our house and relocated about six weeks ago and I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. I wanted to touch base to give you the best file management tip you’ll probably ever get.

While I was busy unpacking the endless stream of boxes in our new home in April I began to feel frustrated by the enormity of the task. It seemed that the unpacking and cleaning process was never-ending. Every time I walked into a room and unpacked another box I was left with more bits to put away, more to clean and a messier room. I started to dread opening another box because it seemed that all I was accomplishing was simply spreading the mess and chaos. In the midst of the mayhem I remembered my all-important cleaning/ organization practice that I usually do quite routinely at home and at work. I started implementing it right away and slowly, but steadily I started to see a difference.

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So what did I start doing differently? It truly is a simple practice and almost even too obvious to mention but as I was unpacking yet another box in my kitchen I thought that this might be a helpful blog post for some of my readers.

So here it is. I consistently and habitually left every room in a cleaner and more organized state than when I had entered it. Yes – it’s that simple – every time I entered a room I would scan to see if there was anything out-of-place and I would fix it right there and then. I would spend about 5 minutes tidying up, sorting things our or just making the room more presentable. I made sure that I never allowed my sprucing habit to distract me from my main purpose or task. I remained focused on my initial intention for entering that room in the first place but I just added on a few minutes here and there to improve the room order at the same time.

So how does this related to Revit files or project management? It’s easy. I suggest that you train yourself (and ideally your team) to do the following:

Every time that you open up a Revit project file spend the first or last 10 minutes cleaning up and re-organizing the project file. Make sure to manage the time that you devote to this practice. It’s best not to allow your file clean-up to blow out or take over doing the work required for that day.

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Just start with the simple things.

For example:

  • Check your view naming or can the unused lines be removed?
  • Do you really need 300 materials in the file?
  • Slowly and surely start de-cluttering and refining the project file.
  • If you are working on a worksetted project be sure to discuss any significant changes with your team and see if they will join you in a regular daily clean-up routine.
  • Could the project specific families and type names be clearer or consistently named? (NOTE: Be mindful not to rename families that are being used from your library because it will affect your ability to re-load studio families in your project to receive updates or improvements.)

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Work as a team to keep your file clean and organized and you will also find that you or your Revit leader will not need to ‘stop the press’ as often either and hopefully also not spend days fixing things after months of neglected file maintenance. Within a few weeks your Revit files will be noticeably easier to work in. Productivity will automatically increase because everyone will be able to navigate through the shared environment with more ease and efficiency.

Give it a go, and see what a difference this simple trick can make to your project files and libraries. It should not be the Revit/BIM Managers job to constantly be cleaning up after the drafting team members. Avoid sloppy work habits and remember to consider that other staff may need to work on your files in future too so take pride in leaving your work in a neat and well-managed state.

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TIP: If you have a company standard make sure to adjust your changes or clean-up attempts to match it, thereby reducing the number of non-standard project settings and practices within your firm. The more consistently your teams can work to an agreed standard the less confused teams will be when moving on to other projects in your company.

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Happy juggling….

Michelle

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