Is too much freedom a bad thing?
Remember the old days when file names had to be short? I do, and it certainly was frustrating. But was that because I was a messy filer? Now some project administrators want us to use all 256 characters available for a file name. Is this getting a bit too into QA for us humans to easily use?
Has the chance of actually finding the file you’re after is significantly reduced? AND, this is for formal documents, if you are anything like I used to be file names such as xxx.doc, or crap 1.xls, crap999.txt clog up the many available storage locations within our computer systems.
A messy filing system within a company server or your own C: drive only exists because of the user freedoms have grown due to hardware performance almost at the rate predicted by Moore in 1975. However this freedom and by extension, flexibility, has grown faster than companies can react to produce usable filing structures that should be taught to their employees.
Naming files has to get easier too. Are there any good systems out there? Being new to the world of the hash tag, I am amazed at its potential power in everyday work activities. Has anyone bothered to use the Tags field when saving a document in the Windows environment? I certainly hadn’t until I started writing this piece.
I wonder if the future of file naming will be similar to the format we apply to live feeds of twitter, instagram, medium and linkedin to tag our stories? Because after all, isn’t the purpose of the stuff we work on supposed to be communicated to others?
So to make your document easy to find, how about thinking about tagging your file when you save. Because, unless I am the author of a document named NWRL-STR-PBAJV-DR-REP-0001 how will I easily find it in my system? Wouldn’t it be easier to add hash tags such as; #NWRL, #Drainage report, #Structures, #PBAJV, #issuedfortender, and the end user can type these terms and the files could be found?
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