Four simplified things to include in names of… | David Stiernholm


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01 Sep

Four simplified things to include in names of documents

Datum: 2021-09-01 16:11

We want to be able to find the doc­u­ments we save in mat­ter of sec­onds when­ev­er we need them. Sure, it is impor­tant and smart to save them in the right place, but speak­ing for myself, I search my way to a file nine out of ten times. Either I do not know what fold­er to look for the doc­u­ment in or I just don’t feel like click­ing my through a fold­er-struc­ture, but would rather find what I am search­ing for through a quick-access app such as Alfred.

Com­pose consciously
Is it real­ly faster to do a search than look man­u­al­ly? Well, it depends. If we name the files and doc­u­ments in a con­sis­tent man­ner with a set selec­tion of name-com­po­nents, we will know what to search for and hence find what we are look­ing for much faster.

There­fore, com­pose the name of files and doc­u­ments smart and you will find it much faster.

Do this
So today, refine how you name doc­u­ments and files, that is, be more con­sis­tent than before in how you name them or intro­duce a new com­po­nent that you will include in your file-names from how on. In the name of a doc­u­ment you could for instance include:

  • The date of some­thing in the doc­u­ment. If you con­duct a search for a date, you will find all doc­u­ments that con­cern some­thing occur­ring on that date. This might sound obvi­ous, but have you actu­al­ly noticed how inge­nious dates are for iden­ti­fy­ing and iso­lat­ing one of all the days that pass?

  • The name of a client. If you do a search for the client’s name, you will find all doc­u­ments con­cern­ing the client in ques­tion even if they should have acci­den­tal­ly end­ed up in the wrong folder.

  • The con­tents. Decide to always name the same type of doc­u­ment in the same way. Should per­haps notes from a meet­ing always be called meet­ing-notes”, Notes”, Notes from meet­ing”, Meet-note”, or only Meet­ing”? If you find it dif­fi­cult to deter­mine just one name or key­word, leave it to chance by writ­ing all your options on notes and ran­dom­ly pulling one from a hat or your closed palm, and then stick to the word you got.

  • A num­ber that sig­ni­fies how com­plet­ed the doc­u­ment is on, for instance, a scale from one to five. You could allow a small pro­gram like Hazel to auto­mat­i­cal­ly col­or the doc­u­ment-names on your dri­ve so that it becomes easy to visu­al­ly deter­mine what doc­u­ment are done and which are not yet complete.

You do not have to rename all the doc­u­ments you have pre­vi­ous­ly named in some oth­er way. Just start imple­ment­ing the new name and key­words today and use it when nam­ing doc­u­ments from now on instead. Then you will at least find the most recent files eas­i­er and faster than before.

Make a smart choice today and feel less annoy­ance tomorrow
If you intro­duce a com­po­nent in the names of files and doc­u­ment that is easy to search for and which you use con­sis­tent­ly from now on, you will find what you are search­ing for much faster than before. You will feel less obstruct­ed in your progress (since you will not have to spend valu­able time look­ing for things) and you will not have to wait so long for the right doc­u­ment to appear, and hence move faster from thought to action.

What’s your method?
What is your best nav­i­ga­tion-trick? Tell me!

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