Content management is the process of managing content–no shock there, right? There are numerous methodologies and software packages available for large and small-scale needs. However, one of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to begin content management is to establish a file naming protocol, which is simply a guideline for file labeling.
Whether you are creating a protocol for an entire organization or your home office, the trick is to create a standard—and then stick with it. A few examples include:
- Department_Project_Date (e.g., Retail_Menu1_Jan13)
- Project_Author_Date (e.g., Menu1_ErinW_04Jan13)
- Period_Project_Date (e.g., FirstQRT_Tax_01Mar13)
You can also include version information in your file names, such as:
- Retail Menu1_V2_13Feb13
When including version information, always revise the date, as shown above, otherwise all of the versions will look like they were created at the same time.
Once all of your files are labeled consistently, they will be much easier to organization within individual folders. And, if you do have to use your computer’s search function to hunt for a lost file, having a general idea of the naming structure will expedite the search, even if you don’t remember the exact name.
So, why not begin 2013 with a brand-spankin’ new file naming protocol? But beware, next thing you know, you’ll be organizing that junk draw in the kitchen!
In the next blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the mechanics of file naming and explore the implications of renaming existing files.
Erin Wright is a freelance writer and editor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in general business content, marketing, blogs, web copy, and instructional material.