Friday, November 28, 2008

Name Your Files So They Can Be Found

Erin Doland shares a good idea for naming computer files on a recent Real Simple blog.

Doland suggests that the combination of consistently- and appropriately-named files/folders with a good desktop search program such as Google Desktop will allow you to find whatever file you need.

Doland uses file names such as 081125-project-client. I like the use of the date in the name. By using a year-month-date approach, the files will sort chronologically. I use the date as part of some of my filenames, but I use 20081125 (all four digits of the year) because some of my files are pre-2000.

I find that I use the date as part of the file name for (1) files that refer to events that occur on an annual or otherwise recurring basis and (2) photo albums. So, I have files such as Fireside Chat 20080313 and Fireside Chat 20080626 for a community organization. My photo albums name the event and the date… Thanksgiving 20081127. I plan now to consider using the date in other filenames as well. And I might begin the filename with the date rather than end it with the date. That would assure the chronological ordering even better.

So, how do you name your files?


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