Name Your Files Appropriately

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By on July 2, 2013 in Leadership with 3 Comments

Few things are more frustrating than sifting through documents you’ve received via email, looking for the latest list of action items for the Employee Benefits Task Force, and trying to remember if your colleague named the file “File” or “Log” or “Task force stuff.”

You do a real service for your colleagues – and your professional reputation – if you take just a few seconds to think through how you name your files. In the above example, you might name it “Benefits_Task_Force_action_list_2010_June_12.”

Another option is to use a version number on each new file. Example: “Benefits_Task_Force_action_list_v3.”

This makes the file name much easier to update for anyone who works on it. And when your colleagues receive your files, they’ll know you took the time to think through naming them.

Note: It’s a good idea to use underscore marks (“_”) rather than spaces between words in your file name. Not all email programs read spaces properly, which can create problems for your recipients when they try to open your files.

© 2018 Robbie Hyman. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Robbie Hyman.


About the Author

Robbie Hyman is a professional communications and public affairs writer. He has 15 years’ experience writing for nonprofits, small business and multibillion-dollar international organizations and is available as a freelance writer for federal agencies.

Robbie has written thousands of pages of content, including white papers, speeches, published articles, reports, manuals, newsletters, video scripts, advertisements, technical document and other materials. He is also co-founder of, an online course that teaches smart money habits to teenagers.