Do you have a hard time searching for files in Docsvault? Do you use dates or numbers in file names? Do you remember these numbers and dates after a couple of months?

We thought so.

One of the most frustrating and time-consuming part of a job is finding documents. Though document management software helps people to find files instantly, there are people who have a hard time searching for files. This mostly happens due to incorrect file naming policies within the company.

Let’s say you want to create an electronic pay slip for your employee.

A bad name example is: Joesalaryslip.1

Though the file name is self-explanatory, when you search for the file using keywords like Joe salary slip, you will get many results such as Joesalaryslip.1, Joesalaryslip.2, Joesalaryslip.3, etc. Finding the right file amongst all these search results can be quite a daunting task.

An okay name example is: 152-SUT103-409E-01-12

These numbers may be the employee number, employee id, invoice number, the date and month, etc. Though well organized, this complex naming procedure may confuse you and your employees and make it difficult for everyone to remember and search the file.

A good name example is: Joe-Brown-SUT103-sslip-jan12

So if you want to search Joe’s salary slips for the month of January, you may logically enter specific keywords like ‘Joe slip Jan 12’ and you will find the right file in no time.

Some of the other tips for naming files are:

  • Don’t use special characters in a file name. / : * ? “ < [ ] &  , . $. This is because all these characters have a specific task, for instance, forward slash is used to identify folder levels in Microsoft, periods are used to denote file formats (image.jpeg) and colon is used in Mac systems to denote folder levels. Using these characters in name may result errors in search
  • Always use underscore instead of periods or spaces. Periods are often read as %20 in web environment
  • Try to restrict the name to 25 characters
  • If you must include dates in the file name, make sure to follow the same date format (MMDDYY, MMDDYYYY, etc.)