File/folder naming conventions

While I know this is kind of a boring subject, but with the vast amounts of data streams we all seem to have to deal with these days, I thought it would be interesting asking nonetheless…

What file & folder naming conventions do TidBits readers follow?

  • Do you use different naming schemes depending on file/folder usage; eg. PDF bills vs. photos vs. assets, etc.?
  • Do you use dates first naming scheme (for automatic ordering) or something else that you think works better?
  • Do you have an archive type folder structure; eg. ‘current’ folder(s) vs. ‘archive’ folder(s), or similar?
  • How do you deal with email; do you use folders, or perhaps periodically archive some, or just keep a giant email system forever?

Or perhaps you just have everything completely randomised and search for things when needed…does that work, or do you sometimes miss things because the search missed relevant items?

Basically, I’m interested in how others deal with sorting and keeping all their “stuff” without losing the will to live! Go as in-depth or not as you like. :stuck_out_tongue:

Date for ordering (and finding): 220305 (though, if youger, I’d go with 22020305)
Set up similar folder structure on mail folders and finder folders
Break out by businesses and what’s needed when I’m 6’ under
Add’l folders for Action, things that drop after a day or week
It will vary depending on what you do and your lifestyle

Yeah, this is a decent enough reason for decent systems and documentation in place. I remember when my father died, and mostly things were on paper in a couple of vast filing cabinets; business and personal (yuck!).

This caused problems dealing with money issues like life insurance and pension policies that needed to be dealt with super-ASAP in order for my retired mother to have uninterrupted income during a highly stressful and emotional time. This to me is one very obvious reason why trying to be highly efficient in ones own stuff, so if (when!) one dies, your relatives can find things easily and promptly during such a difficult time when a family member dies. It just adds to their stress dealing with your things they don’t necessarily understand the ins-and-outs of like you would obviously know yourself. An easy to understand digital filing system is thus desirable.

I digitise and shred most physical docs where a physical copy is not needed (i.e. only keep physical passports, birth certificates, etc.) so it’s all in one backed-up digital file system.

EDIT: I should add, that I previously mentioned the basic principles of my filing scheme in another thread, here:

Like @jimthing I moved away from paper files about 10 years ago when I retired and had time to scan all the old documents. It was a necessity as we planned on extensive travel in our motorhome and being on the road for months at a time. To save all the documents I adopted a hierarchical file layout that matched my old paper files. As example, I had a file for vehicles with individual folders for each car.

File names in this hierarchy are prefixed with the date in yyy-mm-dd format and I typically use long, descriptive file names to make searching easier. Almost all files are stored as PDF. There are a few jpg files.

I am very much opposed to using email as a filing system. My wife retired as an email administrator and I heard too many stories of having to recover email stores that got corrupted. If I have emails I need to keep I export them as a PDF and add them to my filing system. This allows for more granular backup and easier recovery if needed. I can go into my BackBlaze backup and find a single email I saved very easily. I challenge anybody to do that their email store.