Let’s get organized – Image and File Naming Conventions

Faster Class

Computer with filesFeeling overwhelmed by your unorganized computer files? We have the cure to help you clean up and stay on track. Yes, were talking about image and file naming conventions for you and your organization.


First, create folders to house these documents. I recommend organizing them by categories such as: file type, project, client, or event. A couple good examples would be organizing them in individual folders like Photoshop or Word files, Website or Client Name, or Event Name. Next give the file a date, a description, and a version number. I like having my files in the year in which they were created or you can put the year at the beginning of the file name as YYYYMMDD.

Descriptive Titles

Now create a good descriptive title so you know what information the document contains. Images are a good example of how this can be really useful. Typically the camera has its own naming convention for example IMG001, IMG002 but that does not inform you as to what the picture is of, so instead give it a descriptive name. Generally keep the title under 25 characters. It’s a good idea to separate words by dashes (-), which I prefer, or underscores (_). You should not use special characters such as backslashes or spaces. If you are constantly updating this file, it’s a good idea to save the original as a backup. At the end of the file put the revision number using (v) and the number. Always remember to save your work often and to save new versions when you make major changes. Here is a great example of how you might want to organize your files (Family Vacation/2011/leech-lake-fishingV2.jpg). Now the next time I need to find the most recently edited image of that vacation I can see that I had edited it from its original state and I can easily find it by referencing the date.

File Structure

Preparing your file structure ahead of time will save you a lot of time and headaches later when you need to reference that document you created years ago. Now that you are organized and feeling refreshed you can get back to the task at hand and work more efficiently.

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