Best Practices In Naming And Managing Files

by Shamelle Perera - Date: 2006-12-04 - Word Count: 474 Share This!

Word documents, Excel documents, images files, presentation files ... the list goes on. Have you ever had the feeling that you have spent too much time searching for what you wanted? Did you search for a file you just worked on last week, for far too long than you would have imagined?

Depending on your profession, managing files on a daily basis can be quite a hazard. Specially, if you don't have an organized way of storing files.

I recently exchanged my computer for a better one. I had to copy all files I needed from the old machine to the new. The transfer felt more like a house cleaning project! I am ashamed to say that there were many files with names such as test, temp,test1 etc Needless to say that I had to open each of these files to find out the content.

So, I made a resolution to better organize the files/folders, in my computer hard drive. After all, if paper filing systems were kept efficiently in the yester years, the new age filing cabinet couldn't be so difficult. I figured it would require a little bit of organizing and self-discipline!

With that in mind, I made a list and I am sharing it with you. I hope you would benefit from it too. I've been practicing this list for the past 2 days and found it to be practical and efficient.

#1. Use abbreviations I use abbreviations to group certain files. For example, If I write a post to for Enhance Life, I would save the document as "BLOG_". Likewise, I use an abbreviation that I recognize (and remember!) to group related documents.

#2. Use descriptive name Yes, Obviously! Something I can read once, and relate to!

#3. Specify the date There are a loads of documents that I come across which don't have a version. Rather than checking the date specifically I prefer an "at a glance view" of which document is latest. Also, keep a note that following a consistent date format is important too.

#4. Combine with underscore Well, It doesn't really matter whether its a underscore or dash. Something to distinguish the abbreviations, name and the date would do. Underscore works for me.

#5. Keep one copy only When there are multiple files with the same name in different directories it can be a major hassle to figure out "which is what". Thus, I do my best to keep one copy of the file.

#6. Save temparary files on the desktop This way I won't forget to delete the files, when the temporary lifespan is over! #7. Use Sender name for email documents There may be documents which are sent over the net for verification and modification. I choose to keep the sender name associated with the file.

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