Defining your File Naming Convention

, September 24, 2017

We’ve all been there. Looking through our computers, looking for files we can’t locate or search with any memorable term. Whether you use Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud, making it easy to search by file name is essential part of bringing together a body of knowledge and informing a great project. The same applies to email, but whereas subject lines and BLUFs can operate in isolation, the way files are named in shared repositories demands a cross-team agreement.

Deciding on rules behind a file naming convention is the first struggle and the common blocker in establishing certainty within an organisation.

Some principles:

  • Largest order or tier of information at the start of the file name.
    • e.g. mobile_ios_checkout_confirm not ios_mobile_confirm_checkout
  • Use underscores (“_”) to separate terms
  • Use lower case lettering only
  • Place the larger order of information at the beginning of the file name, followed by smaller items: e.g. feedback_ios_

Some examples: