Spring Cleaning Unofficial Challenge in We Aren't Dead Yet | World Anvil

What is this Challenge?

Spring is here, and you know what that means? Time to dust off the cobwebs... in your folders, that is!   Whether your worldbuilding empire is already sprawling or you're just laying the foundation stones, a clean folder structure is a total game changer. It saves you time, keeps things organized, and lets your creativity run free (no more getting lost in the jungle of information).  
The Basics
Declutter, rename, rearrange – unleash your inner organization gremlin.
Snap a pic of your organizational masterpiece. Screenshots are encouraged, but not required.
Share your journey in the comments below. Did you find any hidden gems while tidying? Discover a genius way to categorize your stuff? Brag about it! Let's inspire each other.
The Challenge: Show off your world organization and folder structure.   Time Limit: March 1 - March 31
 

How It Works

There are 3 ways to participate!

 

I'm happy with my structure!

If you're content with your current organizational setup, no need to make changes. Simply capture a screenshot of your existing folder structure and share it proudly with the community, highlighting any unique features or strategies you use to keep your world organized and accessible.  

I'm unhappy with my structure - Help!

Feeling a bit lost in the organizational labyrinth? Don't worry!
  1. Share a screenshot or description of your current worldbuilding setup with the hashtag #Help.
  2. Fellow participants and community members can offer constructive feedback, suggestions, and tips to refine your organization.
  3. Embrace the collaborative spirit of the challenge and let the community guide you towards a more structured and efficient worldbuilding process.

Check out my new structure!

  1. Reorganize your folder structure to reflect a clearer, more efficient organization.
  2. Snap a screenshot of your new and improved organizational setup.
  3. Share your revamped structure with the community, along with any insights or challenges you encountered during the process.

How To Enter

 
  1. Take a screenshot of your folder heirarchy on World Anvil. It can be for one or multiple worlds.
  2.  
  3. Upload the screenshot into your Images on World Anvil.
  4.  
  5. Grab the image code and paste it as a comment on this post.
    Please add |center|150 inside the brackets at the end of your image code or use another method to reduce the image to a reasonable size. If your image is too large it will make scrolling through participants difficult for interested readers.   If you'd like, tell us a bit about your organizational structure and why it works for you.

The Prize


A broom sweeping pages across an open book, background stack of books and blue shield, text Spring Cleaning 2024
by Emily Armstrong
 
After posting your screenshot, grab your badge by clicking on the image.

 
Are you wary of sharing a screenshot of your folders? Do you have secrets that must be kept safe? No worries!
You can still participate by typing out your folder structure instead of posting a screenshot.
 

Getting Organized

Organization is not just a nicety—it's a necessity. A well-organized folder structure is akin to a well-drawn map; it guides you through your creation, allowing you to find the information you need quickly.  
Clarity: It's easy to get lost in the details, but with a good system, you can see how different parts of your world interconnect.
Efficiency: When you need to find a specific piece of information, a logical folder structure can save you precious time.
Collaboration: If you're working with others, a shared understanding of where things are can streamline the collaborative process.
Scalability: As your world grows, so does the information. Scalable folders will accommodate this growth without becoming unwieldy.
 

Main Categories

Start by creating top-level folders for the main aspects of your world. These might include:
  • Characters: For all your character profiles, backstories, and development arcs.
  • Locations: Separate folders for continents, countries, cities, and notable landmarks.
  • Lore: Myths, legends, history, and the rules that govern your world.
  • Plot: If you're writing a story within your world, keep your plot outlines here.

SubCategories

Within each main category, use subfolders to break down the information further. For example:
  • Characters
  • Protagonists
  • Antagonists
  • Supporting Characters
  • Locations
  • Natural Landscapes
  • Urban Areas
  • Points of Interest
 

Types of Structure

Thematic

  1. Organize your folders and files based on thematic elements or topics within your world.
  2. Create folders for broad themes such as geography, culture, magic systems, etc.
  3. Within each thematic folder, further categorize files by subtopics or specific elements related to that theme.
  4. This structure is beneficial for worlds with diverse and complex elements that span across different categories.
 
  • Geography
  • Maps
  • Regions
  • Landmarks
  • Culture
  • Religions
  • Traditions
  • Language
  • Magic System
  • Spells
  • Magical Creatures
  • Artifacts
  • Characters
  • Main Characters
  • Supporting Characters
  • Character Backgrounds
  • Location-Based

    1. Arrange folders based on different geographical locations within your world.
    2. Create folders for continents, countries, regions, cities, or specific landmarks.
    3. Within each location folder, include subfolders for relevant elements such as characters, cultures, history, etc.
  • Continent 1
  • Country A
  • History
  • Capital City
  • Towns
  • Points of Interest
  • Major Religions
  • Country B
  • History
  • Major City
  • Villages
  • Culture
  • Points of Interest
  • Continent 2
  • Kingdom X
  • Kingdom Y
  • Kingdom Z
  • Other Locations
  • Underwater City
  • Floating Islands
  • TTRPG

    1. Organize materials related to the setting, factions, NPCs, creatures, and magic of your world.
    2. Keep track of your current campaign's session notes, plot outlines, character sheets, and encounter plans.
    3. Store pre-made adventure modules, custom adventure ideas, and side quests for use in your campaigns.
  • Worldbuilding
  • Setting
  • Factions
  • NPCs
  • Campaigns
  • Current Campaign
  • Session Notes
  • Adventures
  • Adventure Modules
  • One-Shot Adventures
  • Session Prep
  • Session Plans
  • Player Handouts
  • Previous Campaigns
  • Archived Campaign 1
  • Resources
  • Rules
  • Tools
  • References
  • Bestiaries
  • Spell Lists
  •  

    Tips and Tricks for Organizing Your World

     

    Formatting Around the Community

    The creators on World Anvil are always releasing fantastic articles that showcase brilliant organization, formatting, and design methods. Check out some of our favorites below!
       

    Your Hosts

    Comments

    Author's Notes

    Thank you for checking out our challenge! We can't wait to see all the amazing management structures around World Anvil. By participating, you're helping to create a resource for Anvilites looking for ways to organize their worlds. We'll keep this article up as a reference for anyone seeking inspiration for their folders!


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Feb 29, 2024 23:59 by Icarus Crow

    First entry woo! Here's my organization for the Tethered Realms:

    by sunnybirdboi

    I'm finding it way easier to sort articles as I publish them, so many folders do not yet exist. However, #help ! How can I improve this? Let me know!

    It's Summer Camp time!!! ~ Icarus
    Mar 1, 2024 01:30 by K.S. Bishoff

    Gratz on being number one!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 1, 2024 12:11 by K.S. Bishoff

    Also, I have one question... do you plan to have adventure modules that would need their own categories or do you plan to write stories that can easily be placed in the events or do you have other plans? So far, you seem to have a very nice system going. I even tested your world homepage for navigation. Seems to be a solid start.

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 1, 2024 15:42 by Icarus Crow

    I plan to use Conflict and Generic templates to create stories about events! Thank you!

    It's Summer Camp time!!! ~ Icarus
    Mar 3, 2024 23:00 by Emily Armstrong

    Yay, congrats on first entry!! I think your setup looks great, it makes sense when trying to get around your world. It's similar to the setup I'm going for in my Eldrispace world where it's separated by system. I do have items/cultures/commerce/etc tucked into an encyclopedia folder but if something is specific to a system, it goes into the system's folder. I also have my staging area, a prose folder, and a misc folder for stuff that just doesn't fit anywhere else. I think my big suggestion would be something I also need to do, which is icons :D Pick one icon for events, one for species, etc and then keep them consistent between planets/systems. It'll help make a distinction between your folders at a glance which is really helpful when you're trying to find all the events or all the factions.

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 4, 2024 03:01 by Icarus Crow

    That's a great idea! Thank you!

    It's Summer Camp time!!! ~ Icarus
    Mar 3, 2024 09:48 by Lauren

    This challenge was so helpful! I've been meaning to adjust my categories and implement breadcrumbs in my world update. There were a lot of empty folders and a few overflowing folders that were 4 or 5 levels deep. Inspired by the Tips & Tricks section, I put together a document for Tarantellia's Tagging System to go with thearticle index. Anyway, here's a screenshot of my current Categories!

    by Lauren Nelson (Lnphysics, self)

    This challenge gave me that push to finally take the next step. Thanks for sharing it!

    "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket
    Mar 3, 2024 16:50 by K.S. Bishoff

    Looking great!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 3, 2024 23:05 by Emily Armstrong

    I'm so glad you found this helpful! Your new setup looks fantastic and super easy to navigate, congrats! Your tag and articles indexes are private so I'm not able to sneak a peek but I'm sure they're great too hahahah. My tag and article indexes are the pages I use most in my worlds, I love them xD Thank you for sharing and participating!!

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 3, 2024 16:53

    Thank you for this challenge, here is my structure for Elaqitan. Since the world is still quite small, there is currently only one lower level of categories after the main categories and of course they are not yet complete. I wrote the contents of the subcategories behind them, otherwise the image would have been too long.  

      (Sorry for the many (deleted) comments, but I had problems with your specification of 150 because I always downsize all the images beforehand so as not to strain my image quota too much)

    Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.

    Psst join the Copper-Party during Summer Camp 2024 and I would be very happy if you would celebrate my SC contributions with me.
    Mar 3, 2024 23:11 by Emily Armstrong

    Thank you for participating! This looks awesome! I really like the way you've broken the folders down, it just makes sense and I'd have no problem boppin' around this world navigation. I've been trying to break things down into people/places/things but I'm worried they folders will get too large and vague, I may have to adopt some of the structure you're using to break up my folders a bit more. Thanks for sharing!   [And no worries!! I'm not too concerned about the image sizes being exact, as long as they're not taking up the entire page you're all good! I'll update the rules to note that hahah]

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 4, 2024 10:44 by K.S. Bishoff

    Very Organized!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 4, 2024 17:54

    Thank you very much and it means a lot to me if you can find inspiration for your worlds from my structure. What I had in mind for world building was from big to small and what comes first or what is necessary for the next to "exist".

    Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.

    Psst join the Copper-Party during Summer Camp 2024 and I would be very happy if you would celebrate my SC contributions with me.
    Mar 7, 2024 23:03 by Rin Garnett

    Love this challenge! One struggle with organizing is breadth (more at the same level) versus depth (more nesting). I've been trying to reduce breadth, with the hope that it's less overwhelming to a new reader or to a player who isn't that into lore/worldbuilding. But the depth this creates can be annoying to work with - nobody likes having to click 8 levels to find 2 articles. So far, I've kept to 2-3 layers of nesting in most cases. If I start needing more, I might rework for more breadth.   Four clusters make my top-level categories, and my 12 planet categories are split between them. Each planet has the same four sub-categories, which house most articles (3 layers deep). Also at the top level is a Galactic category for topics that aren't tied to a specific planet, as well as the GM Corner for meta content.   For this challenge, I moved my top-level Prose category to be sub-categories beneath the relevant locations. I also standardized my article icons: all categories use fas, major articles use far, and minor articles use fat. This combined with ordering lets me mimic a hierarchy without further nesting.  

      I've been incorporating more ways to explore articles than just the codex. I have featured articles on my homepage and category pages, an Index that lists articles based on different criteria, a Visitor's Guide for interest-based reading paths, plus all the usual inter-article links. The goal is to make it easy for readers and players to find what's interesting and relevant to them.

    Mar 8, 2024 11:42 by K.S. Bishoff

    That looks great ... and a challenge... its a delicate dance between breadth and dance....

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 26, 2024 23:07 by Emily Armstrong

    This is awesome! I love the idea of a Visitor's Guide, it's such a smart way to guide readers around your world! Finding good paths for readers can be such a struggle, it's great to see people finding clever solutions.

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 8, 2024 21:41

    - Histories - Time Keeping - Months - Machinations - Unreal - Biographics - Conflicts - Bloodless - Ceremonial - Expansion
    - Major Capitals - Calpōlli - Campans - Public Buildings - Restricted Places - Semi-Public Buildings
    - Politics - International Influences - Local Influences - Contemporaries - Propaganda Materials - Architecture - Personal Prestige - Practices - Public Displays - State Actors - Precedents - Currencies - Positions - Fringe - Leadership - Specialist

    Mar 10, 2024 19:09 by K.S. Bishoff

    WOW that is some impressive subcategorizing!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 24, 2024 14:54 by Sapha Burnell

    I do love a good subcategory! (Stares intensely at both my worlds) It looks impressive, indeed!

    Mar 26, 2024 23:08 by Emily Armstrong

    Nice setup! I really like the way you break down your politics, I may have to look into my own political stuff and reorganize a bit. Great job!

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 21, 2024 03:22 by Kydra

    This challenge was the perfect kick in the butt to finally get the new world organization structure I have been working on in place. I am in the middle of giving Oabos a total visual overhaul so the timing couldn't have been more perfect! There are still a couple areas I'm finding clunky and want to clean up more so I would love any feedback if anyone sees something that could use a bit more attention!

    by Kydra_Hunter

    Mar 23, 2024 13:28 by K.S. Bishoff

    oh wow this looks very neat... I luv the detail fo your categories

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 26, 2024 23:14 by Emily Armstrong

    Hahah sometimes we all need a lil kick in the butt to get goin', especially on tedious tasks like reorganizing world structure xD This looks really nice! Are there any categories in particular you feel are getting clunky? I could see maybe 'communities' being broken down a bit more, maybe into locations and groups/cultures?

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 28, 2024 03:56 by Kydra

    Thanks! It is less about the current categories and more of an issue that when I went to move all the articles into the new structure there were some without a good fit. I will need to keep tweaking things a bit to make sure every article has a good location.

    Mar 23, 2024 10:06 by Mochi

    Hiya! I'm pretty content with my world's organisation so I'll just showcase it! My world is location-based, and recently I've tried (and succeeded) to massively cut down on excessive categories. For each planet I have an atlas and an encyclopedia. The atlas can be broken down into continents if I have too many articles, and the encyclopedia is broken down into three subcategories - biota, knowledge, and peoples. These three categories are divided even farther for more organisation. My world is so large that I *need* hundreds of categories just to organise it, but I try my best to make it digestible for readers.

    Some of my category pages, such as this one, have some extra information in case anybody happens to wander onto these pages. I also have many index articles to showcase specific types of articles - someone recently requested I made a list of planets article, and I did exactly that!   Outside of my planet and solar system categories I have a major category for all things magic, and all things space. I also have one for meta articles and one for extra dimensions, but the latter doesn't really get used. I really love this challenge, it's been nice to take a look at my categories and also see how others are doing things! <3 I'm pretty proud of my organisation and all of my index and a-z articles, and it's so cool to be inspired by others :D

    I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Check out my plans for Summer Camp!
    Mar 23, 2024 13:29 by K.S. Bishoff

    That is amazing! You have made rabbit holes for readers to fall into

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 26, 2024 23:22 by Emily Armstrong

    Wow, really loving your structure! Everything is so prettyyy hahah even though you have so much info it's not a pain to search around, and your category pages are so fun to pop through, too! This is a really fantastic example of folder structure and world organization, you can just see how much care was put into Yonderverse to make it such a great world. Kudos!!

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 27, 2024 15:37 by Mochi

    Thank you both so much! I'm super glad that you don't find it a pain, that is always my biggest worry with such a big world XD

    I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Check out my plans for Summer Camp!
    Mar 24, 2024 04:31

    I generally like my categories but occasionally make a few changes.

    Mar 24, 2024 14:49 by K.S. Bishoff

    That is an impressive number of categories ...

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 24, 2024 14:52 by Sapha Burnell

    Looking pretty good there, Solstice! I like the grouping by type instead of say, deity fealty or such. Got a question for ya, how do you help people navigate once they're in a folder? Use of links, or do you use a tagging system? Would that be something you're interested in any day? Also, I want to get lost in Pantheon/Deities. It looks wonderful.

    Mar 24, 2024 20:27

    Thank you very much There are subcategories in the folders and then links. The Pantheon/Deities are far from done and many I started a while ago but haven't been able to finish yet, but more and more deities spring to mind all of the time. Thanks again.

    Mar 24, 2024 20:29

    Thank you.

    Mar 26, 2024 23:50 by Emily Armstrong

    Oooo I popped into your world to check out the subcategories and you've got a really sweet setup! I have to admit that at first I was a bit overwhelmed by how many main categories you had but I quickly realized it makes perfect sense and was ridiculously fast to navigate. The subcategories give plenty of breakup in the major categories, great job!

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 27, 2024 00:30

    Thanks. There is a lot of stuff there, but I think that its only going to get bigger and bigger as the years pass and more articles are created. lol. I'm always open to new ideas and seeing what other people do. So it might change in the future but who knows.

    Mar 24, 2024 18:36 by Jacqueline Yang

    I finally finished! I had to rearrange it at least 20 times, but it looks so good now! (I was initially going to do a picture, but way too many articles showed up, so hopefully this will do.) I present to you my Slumbering Gods reorganized structure!  

    Myvera -- General Encyclopedia -- Cities-Organizations-Nature-Animals

    Characters

    Magic

    Books & Lit. -- Legends

    Deities & Religions

    Cultures & Languages
    Verinar -- The Characters

    The Gods

    Religions & Beliefs

    Magic System -- Users-Magic -- Abilities-Weapons

    The Kingdoms

    Cultures & Traditions

    Bits of Prose -- Avron's Story

    Challenges

    Mar 24, 2024 20:58 by K.S. Bishoff

    ooo nice! I see you have a couple deep rabbit holes to trap readers in for a long visit ... well done!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 26, 2024 23:58 by Emily Armstrong

    Awesome job! Hahahah before I settled on my current setup I must have rearranged my categories 20 times too xD This looks like a great structure! Super easy to find articles, really clean and quick navigation. I really like how you've popped a few subcategories under the general encyclopedia but branched larger categories out on their own, I might have to pull some categories out of my encyclopedia in a similar way lol.

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 27, 2024 01:04 by Jacqueline Yang

    Yeah! Thank you!

    Mar 25, 2024 09:48 by Dragon

    I already like my category setup, so I decided to split up the item section of the misc. category into three columns. ...since that section got very bloated during the curiosity challenge. XD; ...this challenge also spurred me into doing some more tagging. :)  

    Mar 25, 2024 22:50 by Sapha Burnell

    Tags are awesome, well done! Love to see some good tags laid down and organized, too.

    Mar 26, 2024 03:04 by Dragon

    :) yea, they are!

    Mar 26, 2024 23:35 by K.S. Bishoff

    Some serious tag work!

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 27, 2024 00:01 by Emily Armstrong

    Oooo I like how you've split off the items category! I've been trying to figure out what to do with my items section and I think you've inspired me to do it in my category page rather than adding more subcategories :D And yay tagging! I've been goin' tagging wild in Culinarypunk, it lets you do sooo much more with organization. Maybe we'll do a tag challenge in the future xD

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 27, 2024 05:20 by Dragon

    YE! :3

    Mar 27, 2024 05:26 by Dragon

    I had to sit down and do some thinking for a while how I wanted to do this. At first I considered doing sub-categories....but I wanted to have all the misc. things on the same category page as an overview so....I had to do it like this. I will do it for the other sections as well when I've gotten enough articles for them. ....oooh. A tag challenge would be awesome. Either when WA has gotten their own tag feature, or in cooperation with Brigid. The tag stats on there is great. :3

    Mar 26, 2024 06:58 by Pandora 9

    Well! This is the first time I've posted publicly about anything and I'm terrified, but I really like that badge, so here we go.  

      My world is still quite young as I just became active on World Anvil in January. That said, there's a lot going on so there are a lot of categories. You could kind of call it a hybrid system that probably only makes sense in my own head. For lack of a clearer explanation, I group things so that the subcategories are the things I'd need to talk about if someone asked me to explain the elements of the category. The only real exception to this is Amaya, which is the primary setting that I'm working with, so I set it aside from the other nations just so I could get to it more quickly basically.   Finally, I have two more "special" categories: Otherworld and Editorial Corner. Otherworld has stuff about the... other world.... in my story. Editorial Corner is bascially a dump category for style guides and notes and acknowledgments/credits and all the necessary things.

    Crimson Court: Dark Isekai Fantasy focusing on Court Intrigue, Politics and Complicated Relationships. And Wars. Heavily Under Construction, beware the pits.

    Mar 26, 2024 23:37 by K.S. Bishoff

    Impressive categorising! well done

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 27, 2024 00:34 by Emily Armstrong

    Thank you for posting!! It can be super scary posting publicly for the first time, but World Anvil has one of the kindest communities I've ever come across on the internet :D For being new to WA, your world is already looking really nice! Your folder structure toootally makes sense, at least the words I understand hahah. I like the idea of an editorial corner, I have my meta section but breaking it out into a separate editorial section would really help separate a couple things. Thanks for the inspo! I'm looking forward to seeing how your world develops, welcome to World Anvil! :D

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 26, 2024 20:30

    Here is Aran'sha - since all of the articles have their own "book" , every article has to have its own category. Since listing every single one would be a bit much, I havent expanded the whole tree:  

    Sit down, my friend, and let me tell you of Aran'sha . A world where the sands shift and the stars sing, where the wind carries secrets and the twin moons keep silent vigil over it all.
    Mar 26, 2024 23:39 by K.S. Bishoff

    Wow.. you really tuck a good number of subcategories in there. Awesome

    Come vist my worlds
    PANGORIO
    and
    HYPNOSIUM
    Mar 27, 2024 00:47 by Emily Armstrong

    Oooo really nice layout! Like Dazz said, you've managed to fit a ton of subcategories in there but it doesn't feel crowded at all, plus I wanna start clickin' into some of those subcategories to start exploring hahah I like that they're not generic names but really customized to your setting, looking great!

    Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
    Mar 30, 2024 08:56

    Here is my entry! I've struggled with choosing a way to organize my codex, but I think I've got the higher level categories figured out. If you have any feedback, I'm all ears! :)

    Mar 31, 2024 21:12 by Zannazook læ Gnom

    Hi ! thank you for this amazing idea ! that gave me a lot of work ^^ but I'm quite glad of my new organization now !  

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