Records Management - Naming Conventions for Electronic Records

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Convention 7: Avoid using words like ‘draft’, ‘letter’ or 'memo' at the start of file names.

Using descriptive generic terms at the start of file names, means that all such records will appear together in the file directory. This will make it much more difficult to retrieve the records you're looking for.

File Naming Conventions - Convention 7
 
Example:

File name:
Right: Wrong:

 

/…/Publicity/
AdvertisingV01Draft.doc
AdvertisingV05Final.doc
BudgetReport2003-2004V20Final.doc
BudgetReport2004-2005V15Draft.doc
GrantP20040312.doc
RaggeT20040412.doc
RichmondV20050729.doc
SmithJB20031205.doc

 

/…/Publicity/
DraftAdvertising.doc
DraftBudgetReport2004-2005.doc
FinalAdvertising.doc
FinalBudgetReport2003-2004.doc
LetterJBSmith.doc
LetterPGrant.doc
MemoVRichmond.doc
MemoTRagge.doc

Explanation: An electronic file directory lists files in alphanumeric order. What this means is that all records with file names starting “Draft” will be listed together and this will not be generally helpful when retrieving files.

In this example the assumption is made that it will nearly always be more useful to find the draft budget report next to the previous year’s budget, rather than next to an unrelated draft record.