File Naming Conventions
Monday, April 28, 2008 10:49:50 PM
Writing for the paper, I have to think about when the article runs, so that is the date I assign it. Try this out for size. When you name your file begin with the year first, then the month then the date. Now when you assign the date use the format of 01-09. If you don't use the double digits what you end up with is 10 comes after 1 and 2 follows 10. Here is how I write file names: year/month/day/title. For example this article will be written as: 2008-04-19-file-naming-conventions.
I find naming my files like this a big help, because it keeps everything in order and I can see at a glance when the file was written and it's in a format that keeps the documents in alphabetical order according to date. At the end of the year I create a folder for the year and drag and drop all of the files into the folder and begin again with the next year.
With the advent of Windows95, Microsoft allowed you to use long file names (256 characters) rather than the old DOS file names of eight characters. This was a boon for many people who needed this kind of file naming convention. I have seen my wife scroll through many documents to find the one she wanted. Had she used this type of file naming convention, she would have found her files much quicker.
You might be able to come up with a file naming convention that works for you that's possibly better than this one, but I find that knowing what year, month and day I wrote the file along with a descriptive title for the document gives me a better understanding of the document and an easier way to find them.
If you have ever scrolled though an endless amount of documents to find the one that your boss wants, you might find this system beneficial. It also helps at the end of the year to be able to take the year's documents and put them in a folder by year so you don't have to scroll through several years of documents to find the one you are looking for.
One final thought. Get a second hard drive to put your documents, pictures and videos on. I have a 500GB external USB drive that hold all of my data. If I ever need to format my hard drive and reload the operating system, I don't have to worry with backing up the documents, pictures and videos on the C: drive first. And if your C: drive ever fails, your data is protected by being separated from your operating system and programs. Yes, it's a pain to reload the operating system and programs, but it's less of a pain if you don't have to back up the data on your C: drive first (if you can).
I guess that I have covered two topics today so you get a twofer. Pretty neat, huh?
My time is up; I thank you for yours.