If you are one of the people likely to organize the list and create files and folders, be far-sighted: think that the list will maybe develop in a considerable manner and that it will maybe be used for several years.
Here are a few suggestions to prevent a list from developing in an anarchic manner:
If the list is to contain the same kinds of resources at regular intervals, choose an organization by month or by year (or any other duration according to your needs).
Example: if the list is meant to collect student works, those students will attend the same lessons and make the same works from a year to another. Thus, it might be interesting to create a folder for each academic year at the root of the shared document web space: this will allow students to take a look at the previous year's works and lessons (provided that teachers restrict access to sensitive resources). This can be completed by subfolders for each lesson or each teacher within each year folder.
- If the list is a collaborative list destined to all members of a department, you had better choose a project-based organization.
- If the list aims at exchanging information, choose a topic-based organization.
- You can also choose an organization by person, by team, etc., and even combine all those solutions!
In order to avoid problems, choose carefully the names of files and folders you publish on lists: give them explicit yet short names and avoid spaces, accents, hyphens and special characters.