While OpenAsset’s structure allows you to easily organize your files into their designated projects or non-project categories, what if you need another way to catalog your assets? Maybe there are a select few images that you commonly use and want easy access to, or perhaps you’d like to share a group of images with a colleague or client. With Albums, this is super simple. Albums are a flexible way to group your images by theme or use case, much like creating a playlist on a music streaming site. By creating links to images across your library, albums ensure your files are even easier to access, with no duplication of assets. In this blog, we’ll discuss what albums are, their benefits, and some scenarios where albums may improve your workflows. What are Albums? Albums are groups of files that users collate for the purposes of bookmarking their firm’s best images, or for sharing with others. Users can manually create albums by Selecting files from across their library and clicking the ‘Add to Album’ button, as seen below. After an Album has been created, users can add, remove, and reorder files to ensure their Album continues to be relevant and useful. Albums vs Local Drives To understand the value of Albums, it’s worth taking a second to consider the alternative. To create an ‘Album’ without access to a DAM system, a user would have to copy and paste files across multiple folders within their local or cloud-based drives. Not only is this manual duplication a time-intensive process, but it can also lead to a disorderly system. Whenever a file requires updating, users would have to update each of the duplicate files across their folders. This is a tedious challenge, but what’s worse is that it can be difficult to remember where each file is saved – therefore increasing the risk of outdated files remaining in your system. This could result in old, non-approved assets being used in customer-facing communications. OpenAsset’s Albums completely eradicate these shortcomings by linking to files rather than duplicating them. By linking back to the ‘source’ file, Albums automatically update and reflect any changes made, leaving users assured in the knowledge that all of their files are ready for use. Using Albums to Bookmark Files The most common use case for albums is to bookmark files for future use. This can save time and effort when there are a select few images you utilize often. For example, perhaps there’s a selection of your firm’s best project images that you commonly showcase when pitching to new businesses. Instead of manually finding these files each time you want to create a document, you can instead create an album titled ‘Best Project Images’. Alternatively, maybe you want to highlight all of your LEED-approved projects, or you want to showcase your interior design capabilities – the possibilities are endless. Some best practices for bookmarking and viewing bookmarked albums are highlighted below. Firstly, while Albums may reflect certain themes or keywords, they shouldn’t simply duplicate the role of keywords or other search features. To better explain this point, let’s use an example. Let’s say you’re regularly searching for images of Skyscrapers, and you think it would be more efficient to create an Album of Skyscraper images that you can quickly refer to. This would be a great instance for using Albums, as long as there is a select sub-segment of your favorite Skyscraper images that you regularly use. However, if you like to change it up and use different images of Skyscrapers each time, it may make more sense to simply save a search. A saved search will ensure that all Skyscraper images across your library will appear, and will dynamically include new results as they are added. To summarize, use Albums when there are a select few images you regularly refer back to and use saved searches where a wider choice of images is important. Learn more about saving searches here. Another tip is that Albums can be categorized by different ‘topics’, allowing users to easily discover relevant albums. For example, you may choose to create different albums containing your firm’s logos, approved icons, and internal stock images. These might all be added to the topic ‘Company Branding’. More information on topics can be found here. When searching for albums, you may realize there are some albums that contain similar content. In these cases, it may be beneficial to merge albums to de-clutter your albums and ensure your teams are working from one source. Using Albums for Simplified Sharing Albums can also be used to group images together for the purpose of sharing them, both internally and externally. This may be useful in instances where you wish to work collaboratively with your team in building a selection of images, or in distributing great examples of your firm’s work across your organization. Sharing Internally Albums can be shared internally with specific users and groups, or simply to all users within your firm. When sharing with specific users or groups you can choose whether to allow them to either view or modify the album. If you allow ‘modify’ permissions, it may be wise to duplicate the album to ensure your original selection is untouched. ‘Featured Albums’ are a way to share albums across all users at your firm, and may be used to highlight albums with certain qualities, such as the ‘best’ or ‘newest’ images within your firm. Users can quickly toggle their album search to display ‘featured’ albums, so this is a great way of ensuring your best images remain visible and accessible. Learn more about featured albums here. Sharing Externally Albums can also be shared externally via a web share link. This creates a web portal in which your clients or business partners can access the Album’s files without accessing the rest of your platform. Web shares create a download link to a zipped file of the images and as the creator of a web share, you are able to set an expiry date. For more information on web shares, click here, or watch the process of creating a web share below. Get Started OpenAsset Albums are a powerful tool for finding and sharing your images more efficiently. With no file duplication, they provide you with a neater and more streamlined work experience – giving you the time to work on the important things, such as creating your proposal documents. To learn more about albums and how they could benefit your team, reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager, or give us a message here.