Save Time with Consistent Naming Conventions

One of the best ways to save time on your computer is to be consistent when naming your files.
Organizing Tip: Save Time with Consistent Naming Conventions | Art Biz Coach
It not only saves you time, but will be imperative when (not if) you bring someone in to help you expand your art business. It makes no sense to hire an assistant only to spend half of your time trying to find things in the computer for your assistant.

Your file names should be so clear that you can quickly find what you need.

Many years ago we were trying to find something in our fancy-pants customer software. My assistant at the time gently, and rightly, asked for more consistency in how we name things.

For example, we had been using versions of all these modifiers in naming our customer tags.

  • April21
  • April2021
  • Apr21
  • Apr2021
  • 4-21
  • 4-2021

There is nothing wrong with any of these, but there’s a world of wrong with using all of them. 

Even If You Don’t Use Tags

This is applicable even if you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say “tags.”
Create consistent naming conventions for the following.

  • Computer and paper folders
  • Document names (such as contracts, agreements, portfolio items)
  • Image files (include title, date, size in name)

Without the naming conventions, you end up having to do searches for each version. As a busy, accomplished artist, you don’t have that kind of time to waste.

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3 thoughts on “Save Time with Consistent Naming Conventions”

  1. I take this a step further in my art business. In order to organize my jewelry pieces I use an inventory ID system. I tag the actual piece, all picture files of the piece, and the database entry with a uniform ID. That way these components are connected in a uniform way and I can check the status of pieces easily. I use Makers’ Moon (an online database tool) to manage my works.

  2. I really appreciate you bringing the importance of naming files consistently and, as you describe in your wonderful course, how mindfulness is key in understanding how you got so disorganized in the first place and how to move forward with better habits.
    Psychologically, I think people think they are so busy they don’t have the time to put something away properly thinking “oh, I’ll get around to it” and then wondering why they are tearing their hair out looking for things.
    Personally, I think its the myth of being busy, a seductive trap we can all fall in to if we let ourselves think we are SO busy that we can’t take a few mindful minutes to honor our work and find a place for it.
    I like thinking in timelines so I tag everything with a date followed by a subject like, 2014-04-22 Grant Proposal Draft/Avery Foundation. Then, I tag it as “Grants”. Since I write a lot of proposals, all of them pop up chronologically when I search for them by tags!
    The trick, of course, is that I date and tag everything first. It is a great habit to have and takes the stress out of your work so you can easily find everything you need to do the work you love.
    thanks again for providing great solutions,

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