A short look at ways to use the Folder Contents widget
If there's one thing the Folder Contents widget is, it's direct. It's a workhorse widget whose job is to deliver files from your Folder Channels to Pages and Spaces in your digital workplace. It tends to live in sidebars, or below widgets with announcements, and doesn't get nearly as much attention as its cousin, the Photos in Folder widget.
The Folder Contents widget pulls from a single source, which is always either a Folder Channel or subfolder in your Igloo. It will display all of the files a member has access to, with an option to include hidden files as well. This lets you store and sort files the way that works best for you, but also show collections of them anywhere in your Igloo with the necessary context a Page can provide. It's often paired with Task or Call to Action widgets, and provides a lot of options on what information to display.
Another common use case is to pull in the Folder Channel directly on the front page of an area, giving members an easy way to browse the files and saving them time in the navigation. It's an excellent candidate for the second or third tab in a tabbed widget setup, letting you save space while providing functionality.
There's a temptation to show all files and folders in alphabetical order, and that's exactly what people are looking for when they want to browse in the widget, but the available options are a lot more robust. One popular configuration is to only show files, and to sort by the latest update. This bubbles up recently edited files to the top of people's view. The regular alphabetical organization is preserved in the folder channel for ease of browsing, but the update view makes it easy for members collaborating around particular files to see what's been updated, when, and by whom.
The Folder Contents widget offers four layouts, each accompanied by a host of options on what file information to display. It can be a bit paralyzing, and they're worth exploring.
- The Detail layout is the best for browsing, and show the description, last modified date, and modified by fields are essential for an at a glance look at folder activity.
- The List layout offers fewer options, and is designed for use in the left or right sidebars on a Page.
- The Tile layout provides a straightforward visualization of folder contents, and is usually used as a display for project files as they're being added.
- The Thumbnail layout is designed for images, not for a gallery like the Photos in Folder widget, but reviewing assets or branding materials without needing to access each file.
As with any widget, you can always change the configuration to suit your needs or the needs of your members, without ever affecting the original folders and files, so you can trial various settings without affecting the core content of your digital workplace.
As ever, if you have questions about widgets, the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, or ask a question in the Community area.