Great File Naming System Tips

Great File Naming System Tips - Online Convert
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The majority of us have thousands upon thousands of different files stored on our computers or harddrives. But how you name your files and organize them can have a huge impact on the time you save when you look for those files later. Having a great file naming system in place is very important; especially if you work or earn your money from those files. There are programs and software out there which you can use, but most of them are very expensive. Because using these file naming system tips are free, they are one of the best options to help you to achieve that.







Why You Need It


For anyone who works with files of any kind, the need to have a proper file naming system in place is tantamount. By making the files you save more organized, it can be a lot easier and faster to find them later. Whether you are a photographer, designer, writer or someone who’s constantly using files to earn money, this is important. Not having a correct system in place can end up costing you a client, a job, and money or a combination of all. Even if you don’t use your files for work or earning a living, having a proper file naming system in place can be very beneficial.


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Types Of Files Saved


Most people have two types of files on their computers; the ones they collect or the ones they make. The ones they collect or are naming can be files such as images, invoices, word documents, utility bills, PDF’s video and/or audio files. Whatever the case, these files can eventually add up to quite a lot. Before, the majority of people had to deal with the storage issue when it came to files they saved. However, due to services such as iCloud and bigger than ever external harddrives, that is no longer an issue for most. In any case, having and using a proper file naming system can make it very easy to find each file, no matter where they are stored.


Add A Date


If there’s one tip you should make use of whenever you are trying to organize and archive your files correctly, it is adding a date to them. This is even more important for those who earn a living from the files or use them for work. Having a date on each file can make it super easy to find them later. Using this particular YYYYMMDD system – 2016_04_30 – is very efficient and highly recommended. Although this is a reverse date system, it will make it easier finding them later. The date system can actually make each file appear in the chronological order they were created or namedĀ on. Of course, you will still need or should add a name to the file after the date. This will be covered on our next file naming system tip below.


Add A Name


For people who have multiple clients, adding a name to each file they create or save is very beneficial and crucial. This is even more important if you have multiple files belonging to numerous clients. To achieve the best results, use a last and first name such as – Mota_Hector – when naming and saving your files. By adding both first and last names, you can avoid problems later should you ever have several clients with the same first or last names. If you are not working with files that belong to clients or you don’t have their first or last names, then there are other options. Use as much of a descriptive tag on the names of the files as you can.

Examples such as –

  • Project or experiment name or acronym for the file
  • Place, location or even spatial coordinates
  • Unique name of what the file contains or is about


Use Underscores _


For some reason, most people tend to look at _ underscores in file names as old and/or antiquated. However, while this may be seem as ancient, it is one of the best options for separating the names of a file. By using an underscore on your file naming system, your files can be read by 98% of all computers in the world being used today. So although other options for naming your files may appear to ‘look’ better, using an underscore is the best way to go.


Avoid Using Special Characters


Because things such as pound signs, spaces or slashes are not readable by computers, avoid using them at all cost. Most computers and systems do not recognize special characters. All of these special characters like ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ‘ ” and | should be avoided. The vast majority of computers do not know what to do with special characters so it ends up causing problems anyway.


Worried about your data? Then check out theseĀ Tips on Protecting Important Files


Be Consistent In File Naming


No matter what system you begin to use in order to make it easier to store, save and find your files later, be consistent. By remaining consistent in your file naming system, you will make sure your projects and work always match previous saved files. Also, try to avoid using capital letters and use lowercase letters only. This can be part of your consistent naming system anyway.
Another tip to remember is to use version numbers in the files you create. Plus, you should always backup your files at all cost. Since cloud services are so readily available – free or cheap – this should be even easier to do.