How to Name Your Computer Files Properly

Seven out of 10 people don’t label or name their computer files properly. And if they want to look for it after a few days or months, they are always having a hard time. If you are someone who engages in computer and stores your files in it most of the time, you have to file it properly. Otherwise, you’ll have a headache looking for it.

[Read also: How to Keep Track of Your Photos]

In this article, you’ll find the easiest filing codes which you can adapt. You can even share this to your colleagues and friends. Now, locating a file can be a breeze.

[Read also: How to Manage Mountains of Computer Files]

how to name your computer files
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Let’s assume that the file is about your Marketing Strategy for XYZ Trading dated March 23, 2012 and is requested by your Immediate Supervisor, Anne Morgan with a deadline of March 30, 2012.

Format 1: Date, File Name

Example: 032312 Marketing Strategy XYZ

This is a nice format if you want your files to be arranged based on dates. Usually, it’s being arranged alphabetically. And for me, that’s not advisable. You have to take note of the dates, most importantly if it’s a report requested by your clients or your superiors.

Format 2: Date, File Name, Initials of Requestor

Example: 032312 Marketing Strategy XYZ AM

It would be a clever idea to include the initials of the requestor. With that, you can easily determine who’s the recipient of your file. That can help you in identifying what your file should look like. As we all know, there are different strokes for different folks. You can personalize your reports based on the requestor. With that, you can surely impress them.

Format 3: Date, File Name, Due Date

Example: 032312 Marketing Strategy XYZ 033012

It is also recommended that you note the deadline of your files. You don’t want to rush it, right? Since there is a find option on computers, you can easily determine which documents are needed to be fulfilled.

Format 4: File Name, Initials of Requestor, Due Date

Example: Marketing Strategy XYZ AM 033012

If you want a shorter version of the Format 3, you can use this instead. Name these type of computer files by excluding the dates when you started the files and just include the due dates.

Format 5: File Name, Comments

Example: Marketing Strategy XYZ URGENT

I would like you to use this format to name your computer files if you want to remind yourself about the degree of importance of your files. I used ‘urgent’ to connote that the file is needed soon. You can have your own comments. It depends on how you want to remind yourself about it.


You have to remember that being organized can be very helpful. You can start with how to name your computer files properly and see the difference it will make.

[Read also: How to Sync Files Between Two Computers]

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How should you name your files on a computer?

  • Choose a descriptive and concise file name that reflects the content.
  • Consider using dates, project names, or keywords to help with organization.
  • Avoid special characters, spaces, and excessively long names to ensure compatibility.

What is a good example of a file name?

  • Example: “Project_Report_Q3_2023.pdf”
  • This file name includes project details, quarter, and year for easy identification.

How do I choose a file name?

  • Identify the main content or purpose of the file.
  • Use relevant keywords that are specific to the file’s subject matter.
  • Keep it simple and easy to understand, avoiding jargon or abbreviations.

How do I name a file and folder?

  • For files, follow the suggested file name guidelines mentioned earlier.
  • For folders, use descriptive names that indicate their contents.
  • Organize files within appropriate folders to maintain a structured filing system.

Are you messing up your files? Do you find it hard to locate a file that you’ve saved in your computer? Do you have any tips on how to name your computer files for easy retrieval? Let us know in the comments.


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