Quick Tip – Naming Folders and Files

Do you sometimes have a hard time finding files or folders on your hard drive? I still do. For years I didn’t think about the names I gave to my files and folders. I’m still paying for it to this day. If I need to find an image or video I shot prior to 2008 I have to look into my “junk drawer” of a filing system. “It’s in there!” I just have to spend quite a bit of time finding it.

In 2008 I decided to do something about it. I started using a logical file and folder naming system. The system is simple. After a shoot I would put the files into a new folder on my hard drive. The naming structure of the folders is this: 20101129-shootname. The first part is the date (Year, Month, Day), this is the part that keeps my folders in order. The order of the date is critical – Year, Month, Day. If the date order gets changed your folders will no longer be in order. An example of this would be Year, Day, Month. The folders would appear in this order:

20100308- (August 3, 2010)

20101001- (January 10, 2010)

20102911- (November 29, 2010)

The second part is the shoot name, this just helps me remember what it was that I shot.

You can use this method to name your files too: 20101129-shootname-img001.jpg. You just have to add something to the end to keep the individual files in order. I use this same method for my documents. This post is saved on my hard drive as: 20101129-foldersfiles.pages.

This naming systems allows me to find images, videos and documents in a matter of seconds as opposed to minutes or hours without a naming system.

I hope you found this useful. If you have another method that works for you, please share it with us in the comments below.

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