Whether you are at work or at home, good file names on all of you files are important. Folders will help too, but we can get into that some other time. Making clear and easy to understand file names will save you time and hassle when looking for important files on your computer(s).Some people are really great at naming and organizing their files, saving themselves loads of time and frustration when looking for something in particular. Others…not so much.
Let’s look at the three rules to save your files, that if followed, promote an organized file structure.
Folders, Folders, Folders. Make a tree!
We all have those moments that, in a rush, we save a file without looking where it went, thinking we will get back to it without problem. It’s happened to everyone at least once, followed by a long period of searching for said file a day or two later. The best way to handle saving your files is to not save them into “My Documents” or “Desktop”, but the save them into file folders, organized into a sort of tree. Let’s say, you work for a painting company, and have to save customer files. The best way to save the files, in order to keep neatness, and make things easier to find would be to do the following:
Specific file names make locating files a breeze
If you work in a company, chances are that you share files with your coworkers on the network. If so, good file names are incredibly important. When working with spreadsheets that you do on a regular basis, it’s good to put what the spreadsheet is for and the date or month/day. For instance, if you do a monthly budget, you can name the file “ABC Co Budget – August 2013” so that it will be easy to find for anyone else looking for it. Keeping file name specifics and arranging them by date will make finding files simple. In the image below, you will see how I name a few of my instructional IT Documents.
Use keywords in your file names to make them easy to search for
Much like blogs, and websites, keywords can be helpful with naming your documents and files. When you search for a file, the system searches the file names before searching content, so putting a keyword into your file names will make searching for the file you are looking for twice as fast. It’s best to use more than one keyword in the file name as well, because the search doesn’t always catch the full text in files.
Those three steps to organizing and naming your files will save you time and frustration. If you’re not doing it now, that’s fine! Start trying to work on it, and after a while, it will become a habit. Once that habit is formed, you will notice a great increase in productivity!