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Tips: Get Organized
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Organizing File Names
File Structure
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Organizing Filenames

When naming files, you will want to create some good file and folder naming standards - Here are a few suggestions on how you might accomplish this:

  • Create a memorable and specific file name subject, use a common name and common spelling then apply that same standard every time you refer to that subject.
  • Consider adding a date either before or after the memorable subject
  • Add a "-" to front of a file name to get that file to jump to the top when sorting the folder (works especially well for files that are only temporarily important because it can be added and removed quickly)
  • Consider adding a version to the name
  • Keep the name short (under 30 characters) - to shorten your filenames you could:
    • Remove some or all of the vowels
    • Leave out spaces - (Note some operating systems do not allow spaces in filenames - To keep your same naming standards on a variety of computers you may not want to use spaces - You can substitute spaces with underscore or all lower case letters except after where a space would be, then use a capital. Use dashes sparingly and underscores only where you would use a space.

In the example below, we have group of files by a student, the student has writen three book reports and took notes four times in class, Organizing by subject, we can easily see the two subject-types of files in this folder (Book report or Class Notes) Then the date was added, Followed by specifics of the topic Examples - 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne, The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankWeiler, and the Jungle Book


In the example below, Englishclass-ByDate folder, we can see the same files as the previous example, but this time - the date is first! Placing them in date order can work or well for many situations, but in this case, it makes it difficult for our English student to see all the In Class Notes not grouped together, they are: Verbs and Prepositions in 2008, the Subjunctive in 2009, and Past Perfect in 2010.

Look how the dash before the file name makes it shoot right to the top!


There is no clear right or wrong way of naming your files, these pictures are just trying to show you some different ideas for naming your files to quickly find what you are looking for.