If your team is like most marketing and creative teams, you know the tell-tale shuffling and sideways looks that go around the conference room when someone mentions naming conventions. Maybe you’ve even been the person in charge of enforcing them, cringing and trying not to sound like a scold when you beg your team for the umpteenth time to please please just use the naming conventions.
We’ve all been ashamed of ourselves for failing to follow naming conventions in our projects and files. It’s somehow made all the worse because we know that consistently following a common set of naming conventions is the key to avoiding confusion in our workflow and project management, making files easier to find, and streamlining communication within and between teams.
It’s crucial that our projects and campaigns have meaningful names that everyone on the team can understand. Some of the benefits of naming conventions include:
- Tell similar projects apart. Working on multiple videos, or brochures? Give them unique names!
- Keep everyone on the same page. Naming conventions are like a code – if you know the code, you can glean a lot of information about a campaign or project just from looking at its name. This is doubly useful when you are looking back at archived work. And since codes can be learned, naming conventions don’t rely on institutionalized knowledge – even the new guy can find anything he needs if he knows the code.
- Save time. If you use naming conventions you go into any search situation armed with the best information – you already know the name of the thing you are looking for, or at least part of it. For example, if you know you are looking for a video that was produced in January of 2019, and you use dates and project types in your naming convention, you already have a significant portion of the name to search, which tends to work better than just searching “video”.
- Prevent rework. As unpleasant as it can be to have to sift through a bunch of files or work items, opening and closing them to figure out which one is the one you need, what’s even worse is going through all of that, only to choose the wrong item, and spend a couple hours working on the wrong project. Naming conventions ensure that you’ve found the right file and aren’t wasting precious work hours on something you’ll just have to redo later.
Knowing how crucial naming conventions are to our work, why are we so bad at using them? As much as we might want to believe that we can strong-arm our way to consistent naming conventions, the truth is that the biggest failure of naming conventions is human nature – it’s just not something we want to do. Taking the time to manually name all our work following a set convention slows us down and feels tedious. Thankfully, we have computers – wonderful robots that revel in that sort of tedium. And that’s it really – the secret to having successful naming conventions is using them, and the secret to using them is to having a computer do it for you.
For that reason, inMotion ignite offers Auto-Naming for campaigns and projects. With Auto-Naming, teams can set up naming conventions including dates (submitted, approved, created, and due), auto-numbers, and custom fields. Once the naming convention is set up in the account, all new projects and campaigns created will be named following the convention. By removing the manual process of naming campaigns and projects, teams can reap the benefits of standard naming conventions. Here are some of the ways Auto-Naming helps inMotion ignite customers:
“Our form uses a number of different fields to automatically name requests. This prevents requesters from creating requests that are hard to identify. Auto-naming also ensures that we all have the same reference point as we deal with a high volume of projects coming from a multitude of requesters.” – Dave
“We need the department the work is for (identified by the custom field “Department Code”) as the first element in every project name.” – Michelle
“Having the name standardized from the very beginning reduces confusion.” – Janet
Discover best practices for setting up your auto-naming conventions in our next blog post “Naming Conventions Best Practices”
If you would like to learn more about how Auto-Naming with inMotion ignite can help your team be successful with naming conventions, schedule a custom demo.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.