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The Ultimate Guide to Naming Conventions For All Your Assets

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The Ultimate Guide to Naming Conventions For All Your Assets

One of the most important aspects of organizing your digital asset management is having naming conventions. A naming convention is simply a way of naming all your files so that things are easier to find when people need them. 

In today’s world of hybrid and remote work environments, it’s critical for digital assets to be stored with logical and predictable naming conventions. Standardized, descriptive names improve efficiency and reduce rework. Naming conventions are also beneficial for streamlining processes for marketing automation tool migrations. 

This article discusses some best practices for naming conventions and provides tips on how to create one for your business. 

How Do You Name an Asset?

Naming conventions and folder structures improve the management of digital assets. A descriptive name makes it easier to identify files and guarantees that all parties involved speak the same language when storing and searching for documents. In addition, templates and tutorials with examples will save time and provide users with a logical user interface. 

Your organization will need to develop a standard format for your asset names. It is suggested that you only include as much information as required. At the same time, you need enough information to know what the asset is. 

  • The type of asset
  • A summary of the asset’s sub-type
  • Workflow status
  • Revision or version number

What Are Suitable Naming Conventions?

Keep in mind that each company has diverse demands, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But, at the very least, we can provide some insights and best practices to assist you in developing a successful asset naming convention.

Establishing and structuring the method for how assets are identified within your system is part of creating an asset-naming convention. It’s critical to consistently enforce naming conventions so files can be recognized and data can be accessed quickly.

Asset naming conventions make it easier to find information and keep data safe. Standardized naming conventions further aid data reporting, automation, and analysis. The naming of assets does not have to be complicated, but it must be consistent and reasonable. 

In addition, asset management includes a well-organized folder structure that enables users to quickly identify an asset’s location, file type, function, or workflow status. For example, create separate folders for digital asset management for each client, department, or active project. 

After establishing your naming convention’s structure, document the standards in a README.txt stored in a visible location. This document will make the standards easy for team members to find if they need a quick reference.

Examples of Good and Bad Naming Conventions

To avoid confusion with your naming convention, we have some tips illustrating what not to do when naming your assets. 

For starters, avoid using periods, spaces, and special characters in your file names. Special characters, like &, ?, /, and * don’t always translate well across platforms and may interfere with automation efforts. Although underscores are commonly found in naming conventions, they can be confused with spaces when text is underlined in a URL, so stick to hyphens.

Some examples of bad naming conventions to avoid include: 

  • Intenti0nal Obfusc4tion%
  • Inconsistent_Naming Conventions
  • Unclr Abbrev Criteria
  • IMG_13654.jpg (non-descriptive names)
  • Names in foreign languages

And as for good examples for your naming conventions, the number one rule is using a consistent template for file names. Beyond that, the file naming convention will vary depending on the use case, file types, and document types. Here are some examples for templates: 

  • [ClientName]-[UniqueDescription]-[YYYYMMDD]
  • [AssetType]-[ArticleName]-[Author]-[Rev001]

When developing your file naming template, here are some considerations:

  • Define logical standards for abbreviations
    • B for blog, WP for white paper, etc.
    • CM for content marketing, HR for Human Resources, etc.
    • PP for project plan, RR for risk register, RA for risk assessment, etc.
  • Prefixes should be the primary sort criteria for a user. It may be a client name, the asset type, or the department owner. 
    • HR-NewEmployeeTraining-20220328
  • Capitalize important words to improve readability. 
    • B-UltimateGuidetoNamingConventions-JDoe-001

Best Practices for Naming Conventions

To be effective, asset naming conventions shouldn’t be complicated. The goal of creating a consistent name system is to make it easy for your staff and clients to identify an asset, its location, and its purpose at a glance to ensure optimization for everyone in the company.

When creating your asset naming convention, use these tips to keep them clean and consistent:

  • Define the structure and abbreviation standards in a README.TXT file that is visible in the folder structure. This document will be a handy reference for anyone that needs a quick refresher. 
  • If using a date in your naming convention, standardize on a format. Using the YYYYMMDD format will ensure your dates are always sorted chronologically.
  • If using version numbers for revisions, put it in the suffix and consider a 3-digit scheme, like 001. This way, file names will continue to sort chronologically after you surpass 10.
  • Be careful of duplicate data. Asset names must be unique to avoid confusion.  
  • Archive files. To maintain a well-organized folder structure, archive old files in separate folders, like “2020 Completed Projects.”
  • Keep it brief. Remember, you can always use the file metadata to sort, such as the document type (Word, Excel, PDF) and the last updated date.
  • Always assume that you will create new assets. Your naming convention should be able to withstand the test of time, allowing for new asset types, revision control, and ease of searchability. 

How Interrupt Media Can Help You Clean Up Your Asset Database

Interrupt Media provides flexible full-service marketing solutions. We are here to help you with whatever you need to develop your marketing strategy, streamline processes, and enhance your brand.  

With Interrupt Media, you can ensure your company has an effective marketing automation tool migration. This will help your company keep important marketing documents in place and easy to find for everyone who may need it! 

Contact us for more information on how you can manage your data hygiene and be more effective.

 

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