If you've ever had the
misfortune of being roped into writing exciting opportunity to write the minutes of a meeting - the painstakingly taken record of everything (well, almost everything) that was said - here's one way of spicing things up a bit. When you come to save the file, start the filename with the year, then the month, and then the date, like this:
If you're feeling particularly outlandish, why not add the time too?
Why? Well, if you keep all of your minutes files in one folder (the imaginatively-titled
minutes, perhaps), you'll find that the files are automatically listed in chronological order!
The notion of putting the biggest units of time to the left makes so much sense (in Western writing systems, anyway) that the International Standards Organisation has devoted a whole standard - ISO 8601 - to it. Annoyingly, the extended version of the combined date and time:
contains colons (which aren't great for filenames), whereas the basic version:
isn't quite as easy to read, but you get the point. It's more ordered. It's more precise. And when you apply the technique to things like files representing your research data - where simple mistakes can result in retractions - that sort of thing can actually really matter.
You can read more about this sort of thing in books like Briney's Data Management for Researchers (2015) or Ray's (ed.) Research Data Management: Practical Strategies for Information Professionals (2014).