How to Organise Files and Folders in a Consistent and Logical Manner

When working collaboratively on files in a document management system, it’s important that folders and files are named in a logical manner so they can be located as easily as possible by everyone who requires access to them. Here are some of the best standard practices that you can follow for naming your files and folders, to keep your portal organised and structured.

  • Keep file names short, but descriptive and easily understandable to others. (<25 characters)
  • Use capital letters to delimit words, as the preferred option, although underscores (_) or hyphens (-) may add clarity, they make the file name longer.
  • For numbers 0-9, always use a minimum of two digit numbers to ensure correct numerical order (e.g. 01, 02, 03 etc.)
  • Dates should always follow same format: YYYYMMDD e.g. 20170425
  • When including a personal name give the family name first followed by initials, with no comma in between e.g. SmithAB
  • Avoid using common words such as ‘draft’ or ‘letter’ at the start of file names unless doing so will make it easier to retrieve the record.
  • Use alphanumeric characters i.e. letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9). Avoid using invalid characters in file names such as *? \ / : # % ~ { }
  • The version number of a record should be indicated in its file name by the inclusion of ‘V’ followed by the version number (e.g. V01, V03 etc.). However versioning is enabled automatically in systems such as Office 365, One Drive and Clinked, making it unnecessary to duplicate this information in the file name itself.

Examples 

 

Correct 

Incorrect 

File Name 

LearningAndTeachingSubCommitteeTermsOfReference.doc 

Learning_and_Teaching_Sub_committee_terms_of_reference.doc

File Name

OfficeProceduresV01 OfficeProceduresV02 OfficeProceduresV03

OfficeProceduresV1 OfficeProceduresV2 OfficeProceduresV3

File Name 

20130324Agenda.doc 20130324Minutes.doc

1Feb2013Agenda.doc 1Feb2013Minutes.doc

File Name 

BrownSR20131201.doc

SamRBrown20131201.doc

File Name

AdvertisingV01Draft.doc AdvertisingV05Final.doc

DraftAdvertising.doc

FinalAdvertising.doc

File Name

GuidelinesAndRegulations.pdf

Budget2012-2013

Guidelines&Regulations.pdf

Budget2012/13