Have you ever had to hunt for a document because you can’t remember what you’ve named it? Or have you ever had to look for a document created by someone else and you have no idea what it’s named? Well, this video will cover how to rectify these issues with correct document management!
- Have you ever had to hunt for a document because you can't remember what you've named it, or have you ever had to look for a document created by someone else, and you have no idea what it's named? If the answer's yes, then this video is for you. What you need is a standard naming convention. A naming convention is a great thing that can tell you what a document is. Is it an invoice, a memo , or a contract? The version of the document. Is it a first draft, a review version, a final version, and the customer or the project that the document refers to. Let's look at an example. Triple A windows makes window conservatories, doors and greenhouses. They have contracts to supply windows and doors to House King, a big builder in the local area. Here's an example of the final name of one of their contracts. Well, what does this mean? On first inspection it's pretty clear it's a contract with House King, but let's break it down. Looks here like it's a document related to House King, that's a good start. It's a contract, or is it? Is it a document about a contract, or the contract itself. Okay, it looks like it's the final draft, but what does that mean? Is it the final version, the final draft before being reviewed, the reviewed version, and what does final final mean? Someone has reviewed this document, but have their views been included, or is it full of track changes and comments? There's no way to tell. So let's look at some ways we can improve on this. A standardized system for file naming allows everyone to quickly and clearly understand what a document is. Which account, customer, or project it relates to, and which version it is. Here's a document from Triple B Doors, Triple A's competitors. They have a naming system that they've spent time working on. Triple B have codes for all of their clients. The number here is the number for House King. So immediately you can see which customer this document relates to. And here we can see the subject. This looks to be the notes from a contract negotiation meeting. Meaningful file names allow you to quickly work out the content of the document. And finally they've added the date this document was last worked on, the 12th of June 2020. They've written the date in the ISO format. Year first, then month, then date. This uses the principal of general to specific, and means that documents with the same name in a folder will be sorted by dates. You can see that spaces have been replaced by underscores, this will help if you need to send links to documents held on a server. It's important to keep document file names relatively short. If they are held on nested servers, it can be easy to reach the maximum character limit, because the whole of the path is counted towards the file name. Finally let's look at a revision status. Some documents need to show their revision status, rather than the dates. Let's look at an example. John is working on a presentation he plans to use in a pitch meeting. He needs his boss to review it and give him feedback. He could use the date to keep an eye on the version, but that they may work on the document on the same day. A much better way to keep the revisions organized is to use a Rev letter. Johns first draft is RevA. His boss Joe reviews the presentation and sends it back with comments. She names this RevB. As the document goes back and forth between them, the Rev letter is increased by one each time. When they get to a final version, John names it Rev0. This shows that it's the final finished version. So, if we compare the file name that John and Joe ended with to the example we looked at the start of the video, You can see that it's much clearer. I know that 1212 is the code for House King. I can see the document is a presentation for a pitch meeting, and I can see that it is definitely the final version. So, let's review what we've learnt. Code numbers allow us to see which customer or project a document refers to. Meaningful file names allow you to quickly work out the content of the document. Including the date in the file name lets you quickly locate the latest version, and if you need to keep on top of the version control a Rev letter lets you quickly see the status of the document.