I primarily use samples, so this is a huge question for me, and I primarily use EXS24 as my sampler, so I decided on the folowing:
I organize the first level by type of elements in my track. Any distinct elements I may use. So, for example, with drums, I have a one shots folder, which is separate from my loops folder, which is separate from my percussion folder, etc... I made separate folders for things like scratches and tape efx
, pitched percussion versus regular percussion, stringed instruments, reaktor samples I've made, etc....
Then, inside that main element folder, I sub divide if needed. For example, in my one shots for drums, they are divided by drum type.
IF I don't need to subdivide, then I group all my samples into 3 folders inside the main folder: Libraries, samples, and EXS.
So, say in my glitch folder. Inside, "libraries" would have whole samples CD's that are of a glitch variety. "Samples" would probably have random samples that I've gotten from friends, from the internet, or possibly made on my own (though usually the samples I made get their own "topic" folder). BOTH the "samples' and the "libraries" folders contain samples to be edited and processed. Once they are, and organized into kits or instruments, they are made into EXS instruments and added/moved into the EXS folder.
For me, the point is to eventually have my whole library as EXS instruments, and not have anything in my samples or library folders.....
so, it looks something like this........
Bass, Mids Folder
Bass, Subs Folder
Drum machines folder
Drums, effected folder
Drums, Fills folder
Drums, one shot folder EFX
, sound design folder-------->(inside this would be the folowing)
Libraries------->BT Twisted textrues or whatever.....
(that didn't translate as well as I thought visually)
each main folder having a sub filepath like the one shown above.
that way, I know exactly where to find what I'm looking for, and they're already made into instruments, so I'm locked and loaded, ready to rock.
hope this may stimulate ideas.......