Using Naming Conventions and Version Control on Your Computer Files

Technique #17: Implement File Naming Convention Best Practices

Technique #18: Implement Version Control for Your Electronic Documents

“Naming conventions” and “version control” are two phrases I mention to clients during seminars that receive a lot of questions pertaining to meaning. This comes as no surprise to me, since the majority of our clients do not practice these techniques. However, once we start explaining this easy-to-implement practice, they quickly realize what makes it so valuable and how it will increase productivity.

The two primary reasons to consider adopting these techniques is that they will allow you and your coworkers to spend less time looking for files and eliminate the need to re-create a document because you couldn’t locate it. These issues cost companies a lot of money each year in lost time.

File Naming Convention Best Practices

1. Give your document a descriptive file name. The name of the file should tell you what it contains, so specifically that you don’t need to open it to uncover its contents. Descriptive file names will be easier to locate via search utilities for documents on your computer or shared drives. I provide some examples later in the chapter.

2. Start general, and move to the specifics. Using more general or broader terms at the beginning of the file name (like the particular project or event) and putting the more detailed description at the end (such as the date ...

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