Does your Plot dialog box take a long time to open in AutoCAD? When you open the Plot dialog box, it searches for plot styles that are in your file search path (including the archive folders).
For example, if you have 1031 files in 14 folders that contain 10.3 MB of data, no matter how fast your computer is, you will be waiting for your dialog box to open. This example is real, and I resolved it by moving the archived folders into a completely separate archive drive and folder on the server as well as moving/deleting older plot styles, thus reducing the files in the search path to one folder and six plot styles.
You have the ability to add multiple file search paths for your plot styles. So, you can have your personal custom CTB files on your C: drive and map to them. For custom plot styles you may wish to create a separate folder in your search path, including project folders (however, be careful if you archive that project).
It is important to keep all of the older styles in a location that is easily accessible so your colleagues can copy/paste as needed to a custom folder in their search path.
The point is — keep it simple and minimize the number of files AutoCAD will be searching for.
Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer R.K. McSwain: Although Tip #3611 is similar with regard to how plot styles can be stored and managed, this tip brings up a very good point — when AutoCAD has to read and load a lot of anything (in this case plot styles), performance will suffer. The same theory applies to fonts, PC3 files, etc. The fewer you can get by with in your support paths, the better.