This topic is very important in the litigation support world. I am only touching on a few examples right now to get you started thinking about the concepts. Everything we do with naming conventions in litigation support has a database mindset even if the scenario is outside of a database.
You can begin using these tips right now in your current job position. These examples apply primarily to file directories and file names. I am not going to get into the technical reasons behind these tips in this article. My goal is to give you a tangible action item that you can implement immediately in your daily routines.
When naming a directory or file name, use underscores instead of spaces.
Example: A directory might be named \Custodian_Name_Shared_Drive or a file name might be named Custodian_Name_Shared_Drive.zip
Zero Filled Numbers
When using a numerical reference, include leading zeros.
Example: A series of file names might be named AnnualReport08, AnnualReport09 and AnnualReport10. These file names will sort in the correct order.
When using a date in a file name or directory name, always enter the year first. This allows the information to sort in chronological order, including from the end of one year into the beginning of the next year.
Example: A directory might be named \2012-03-09_Incoming_Data. It is not necessary to use the dashes, but some people find it easier to read. It could also be named \20120309_Incoming_Data.
You may have wondered why “those IT people” or “those database people” have named files/directories this way. You will show off your real geekness by implementing these tips.
If you have any questions, please ask them in the Comments section below.