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File Naming and Archiving


I might have missed it but I could'nt find much info on file naming and more importantly archiving. I've been using a single folder for current work, giving a 4 letter tag to the projects and giving them a 01-99 tag before that to show priority. But now that I've actually been completing projects that system doesnt quite work for archiving.

How you all archive your work?

krackeman's picture

File Naming


It seems to me that your naming system is all about CURRENT work, which will make it hard to archive when that data goes stale. I use a similar system to Chrome... All projects follow this naming scheme -
- 4(some 6, some 3) Character Tag I dentifying the client
- a 4 digit job code, if there is a specific project involved (e.g., JONES0001 is a document for my Jones Client, GTD reference material starts with GTD and no #
- an underscore (_)
- A Title (e.g., Copy for JONES0023 Product Brochure
- an underscore
- date in YYMMDD format
- optional underscore and tags following

SO, a sample file might be:

JONES0001_Copy for Product Brochure_060102_ JONES0023 sample.doc

And it means: Client Jones, project #1, Copy for brochure, saved on January 2, 2006, related to project JONES0023 and is a writing sample for my portfolio

A few notes:
- each client starts at 0001, so I have JONES0001 and SMITH0001.
- I use dates, instead of v1, v2 because dates also let you see the timeline
- YYMMDD dates sort in the proper order
- If I reference related projects as a tag, the file will show up if I do a file search
- Because I do graphic design, I still have to use folders for projects... it is the only way I can keep graphic files, fonts, etc grouped appropriately (in sub folders).
- I still use complex file names because it gives me a lot of data about a file without forcing me to open 3 different "Copy for Brochue.doc"

You will notice that no context or priority data is associted with the filename. I will use shortcuts on my desktop to visually set priorities, occasionally and that is also how I track current projects. When I create the folder, I can right-click Send to Desktop as shortcut ... then I can move the shortcut around as I need to.

Archiving is as simple as backing up.

When a project is complete, appending a finish date on the end of the name lets me know when it was done. It also makes it easy to move stale projects into deep storage (CD/DVD/External Drive .... Whatever)

Sorry it rambled ... hope it helped




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