Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Quick Tip: Zip files as templates

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

If you’re like me, sometimes you work on a certain kind of project over and over again. And for each product that’s of a certain type, you want all your files and folders in the right places. You might even have written time-saving scripts that rely on certain files being in certain folders.

You could recreate your files and folders every time you start a new project. Or you could do what I do, which is create an example of the file and folder structure that I prefer and then make a zip archive of it in the Finder, ready to be re-deployed every time I need a new one.

I have a “template” archive for several of my podcasts, including The Incomparable. When I want to create a new episode, I double-click on the zip file in the Finder, and out comes a new folder with all the files and folders I need in just the right places.

(Yes, Logic allows you to save template files and create packaged-up project files containing loads of hidden files, but neither approach works for me, my chosen workflow, and my assortment of automations.)

These zip archives can be simple or complex—with dozens of folders and files or just a few. But why re-build them every time you start a new project when you can just double-click?

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