How important are titles for electronic documents

Most of us don’t think about what to call our electronic documents until we’re about to save them when we’ve finished with the document for a while.  At that point we just want to save the document quickly so we can get on to the next task.

For personal information it’s probably not too important unless you’re creating lots and lots of new documents.

For a business though, giving some thought to how you name documents can save heaps of time at a later date when you’re looking for a particular document or a number of documents on a similar topic.

If you’ve been systematic about naming a group of documents, the words in the document title are likely to be the same set of words and in the same order.  This means that when you are looking for these documents later, you will find them all easily, you will know you have them all and that nothing relevant is missing from your search results.

Some people say you don’t need to be so systematic about naming your documents because you can just search for them using the search tool in your computer system.  However whether you search in something like Windows Explorer, Google docs or a sophisticated document management system, you still need to make sure you use the same words each time. If you don’t, you won’t know if you’ve got all the relevant documents and you will most certainly get a lot of irrelevant documents in your search results.

Say for instance you want to check on something in the minutes of your board meetings.  If you’ve used the same words in the document title for the minutes of each meeting, it probably won’t matter too much about the order. You will still get all the documents in your search results, just like the results of a Google search.  However you can makes it quicker for review the search results if all the docs returned in the search are totally relevant so you don’t have to trawl through lots of documents with the same words in the tile but not relevant to your search on board meeting minutes.

You can read about more hints and tips to improve productivity in your business in my free eBook; and even more if you download the eWorkbook that gives you a full set of instructions on how to set up a filing system for your business.

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