Optimal file naming conventions for improved productivity

Optimal file naming conventions for improved productivity

The names of digital documents often vary widely. Different versions and different people working on the same document create ambiguities. The result? You no longer have an overview of the documents and it is difficult to find them again. It is therefore very important to create a good and clear digital archive. Digital tidying starts with clear naming. Discover our naming tool.

Naming of digital documents

Effective information management starts with a solid basis: clear agreements on the naming of documents. Clear names are understandable for everyone and ensure that you can retrieve documents without problems. As long as this method is consistent and clearly defines the content, it creates an orderly archive where essential information can be found at any time.

With a fixed naming method, you can find out the contents of a document without opening it. Even when all files are in one shared folder, a consistent naming method keeps things neat and tidy.

How to compose a method

How do you create your own method for naming documents? Whether for your personal records or those of an entire organisation, there are a number of guidelines for putting together your own, effective naming convention.

First of all, it is important that the composition of filenames is logical for you and other employees. Which elements are important to include in a name and in what order? What information is important and provides enough distinction between the various documents? These are questions that you can ask yourself when you draw up naming conventions.

A good way of storing documents can ensure stable archiving for years. Therefore, make sure that the method can last for decades, even when you yourself may have left the organisation. If colleagues after you can still find the documents, the naming method is future-proof and appropriate for the organisation.

Useful tips for efficient
file naming

  • Adding a date to the beginning of the file names is a simple but effective way of providing an initial form of categorisation. If the name of every document begins with YYYYMMDD or YYYY_MM_DD, year month day, it immediately becomes clear when the document was created. This date order ensures that the system automatically sorts everything chronologically.
  • A naming method only works well if it is tailored to what you need. Do you want to quickly recognise the work of a colleague? Then you can use initials. Does your company work on a project basis? If so, you will probably often be searched for the project name or number. Include this information at the beginning of the document name.
  • The same applies to mentioning other relevant components such as the name of the organisation, the type of document, the language, or the content.
  • To save different versions of the same document, you can use versions by specifying v1, v2, v3 and so on. The name of the document remains the same and you only add a new version number.

Short document names: ensure clarity!

It is also important not to make the name of a document too long.  This helps avoid possible problems with software. Use common abbreviations and avoid special characters. Adding short dashes, using capital letters and underscores/low dashes are no problem.

In total, the naming convention then becomes, for example: [YYMMDD]_[Initials]_[Project]_[Description]_[Version] like this example: 210631_HVB_ProjectZ_initiative_v1.pdf

Make your archiving work for you

The above examples and guidelines together form a good basis for efficient and clear naming of digital documents. There is only one drawback: all users are expected to be familiar with these rules and adhere to them. Even the smallest difference in the use of an abbreviation or a typing error creates noise and ambiguity. Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent this.

After all, ByondFiles has an innovative solution for the naming of documents within organisations. When setting up our application, the file structures and naming conventions are determined. This is then applied to all documents for uniform naming throughout the organisation. What's more, documents in ByondFiles are instantly recognisable by means of clear, high-resolution icons.

This way, your digital work environment remains clear and you don't have to worry about finding documents. Would you like more information about ByondFiles or would you like to request a free demonstration? Then contact us without any obligation!

28 July 2021

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