Friday, 11 March 2016

Folder and File Naming Conventions

When you are going to share files, the logical naming of them, and the folders which contain them, is important.

File names should clearly reflect the contents of the file, as this enables any and all users to predict with greater accuracy how to find what it is they seek.

An agreed naming convention also reduces duplication, and clusters like files together in directory folders.

For my own use, I put the author name first in the file title. This helps me sort out who the 'owner' of the material is. Additionally, because files are often emailed or downloaded, it helps to remind the recipient who the ‘owner’ is as well.

I name my files in the following way:

[Author/Organisation Name], then <space> <hyphen> <space>, then followed by – sometimes, if required – [sub-author or department], followed by a <comma>, followed by [Title of file, master process area/item/event], followed by – sometimes – [what form of document it is or document type/clarifier/version], followed by [the date] formatted as <comma> <space> Mmm YYYY, then lastly <dot> [file extension] or suffix.

For example:

Policy v2-0

Jun 2015

Which looks like this: NMIT - Young, Communications Policy v2.0, Jun 2015.pdf

Or, a more simple example:

Jun 2015
Which, when put together, looks like this: NMIT - Communications Policy, Jun 2015.pdf

Other examples include: 
  • Young - PhD Pre-proposal Draft 1-1, Jan 2016.doc
  • CDANZ - Exec Meeting Minutes Draft, Jun 2015.msg
  • CDANZ - Exec Meeting Minutes, Jun 2015.doc
  • TVOntario - Achbar, The Corporation movie, 2003.mp4 
  • TVOntario - Achbar, The Corporation transcript, 2003.mp4 
If you are logical and consistent in your naming conventions, it makes finding and sorting files so much easier.


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