Smart Saving: How to Keep Excel Files Organized


Words can't describe the sheer horror that sets into the human heart upon the chilling realization that you've lost an Excel spreadsheet.  You begin to search frantically with keywords like autosave, recover, lost, and corrupt as the panic rises up to choke out all sanity.

As is often the case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  An example of how to save your excel files well:

160222 - ACME Widgets Company - Project Cyclone v0.xlsx

1)  160222 - This is the date the file was created.  Why yymmdd?  With this date format, your files are automatically sorted chronologically by name in Windows File Explorer.

2)  ACME Widgets Company - If you're like most people, you have quite a few things going on in your life... work, family, church, softball team, etc.  This macro header helps you identify quickly which "life bucket" your file falls into.  If you plan on emailing this file as an attachment to others, it also helps them quickly figure out who sent it and what it pertains to.

3)  Project Cyclone - This is a more specific micro header that represents the actual name of the spreadsheet file you are working on.  Descriptiveness is good, but also challenge yourself to be concise so that the whole thing fits in a Windows File Explorer window for readability.

4) v0 - This is the version number.  The most important takeaway from this post:  AFTER MAKING MEANINGFUL CHANGES, ALWAYS SAVE AS A DIFFERENT VERSION NUMBER!  Hard disk space is cheap.  A very smart use of it is maintaining a reasonable anthology of versions for your work.  Microsoft has tried to build this functionality into Excel itself.  Trust The Man?  I don't.  I save versions.

Have other questions on saving or anything else Excel related?  Give us a call at Spreadsheet Sherpa, 877.851.0132, for live help solving all your Excel issues.  We'll remote into your computer and fix it in minutes!