GOOD FILE NAMING AND FOLDER STRUCTURE

Hi everyone, my name is Michael and I’m the new boy on the block at Zeno IT.

I have work in a number of different industries not just as an IT helpdesk support person but as a user.

One of the problems that I have encountered is how users would name files. The file creator would name a file that is recognisable to them and know where the files are saved to but it can be difficult when other users would have to locate them. Also, there could be very little detail in the name that by looking at it, one wouldn’t have even the slightest idea what the file contains. The only way to find out is to open it up. Imagine having to open several or even a dozen or so files just to find the right file when looking a file name would make your search quicker. It even makes it easier when a file is accidently deleted and it has to be restored from backup.

It is a good idea to have a design for file names that any user in your organisation can easily search and locate. If you don’t know what directory a file might be saved, as it could have been saved to the wrong directory. Using the instant search function that is used in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 will make it easy to find when you have an idea what the file name should be and using maybe a part of it, say the year and month or person. You may or may not want spaces between words depending on your situation.

A good standard design would be [name][type][date][version].ext

[name] – name of business, person or other entity.
[type] – type of document: letter, plan, chart,  contract, etc.
[date] – format of the date should be of yearmonthday as yyyymmdd, e.g. 20130425
[version] – only required if a document is updated  and you want to keep the previous version of the document.
[.ext] – as applied by application.

To help in defining is also to use a capital letter for each part of the name. If you are using a name of a person, consider using surname/first name format.

Some examples of file names would be

AjaxBusinessPlan20121104
DavidsonPeterCorrspondence20130512

 

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