Re: Document/File Management Software

Subject: Re: Document/File Management Software
From: James Owens <ad354 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 12:14:36 GMT

Tiffany Haley (thaley -at- sctcorp -dot- com) writes:
> Being the only documentation person here I am finding myself the recipient
> of loads of valuable documentation that should be organized and saved.
. . .
> Does anyone know of some software or shareware that helps to organize/index
> files/documents on the PC platform?

To answer the question, I don't. But as the documentation controller and
tech writer here, I can offer some advice that I hope applies in your


Everything I receive is, by decree, on diskette. Instant backup! -- though I
also back the diskettes up to mass storage.

The files on the diskette are named by engineering using a standard
system. I don't worry about it -- if they want to find a file again they
had better name it accordingly -- but it is roughly this: the main
directory refers to the project; the subdirectory refers to the
application used to make the file; and the file name describes
mnemonically the file contents and revision.

When I receive the diskette, which the engineers have labelled with an
informal description of the contents, I give it a unique name (on a small
label) and file it by that name. The name consists of the project name and
a number. I also print out the directory tree, marking at the top of the
printout the diskette name, the informal description, and the medium (3.5
or 5.25). The printouts I keep in a binder, sorted by project.

When someone wants a file, they can flip through the project diskettes if
they want, looking for their informal label, or they can consult the
binder to find the file name they are looking for.

I do have a program that converts the directory tree to a database,
allowing for key searches. It's a dBASE program I wrote myself.


I use Ventura, which complicates my life a little because it is very picky
about file locations. For a pub in progress I keep a single directory,
with subdirectories for text files, vector files, and bitmap files, more
or less in accordance with the VP backup feature. I make sure everything I
use is in the proper directory. At the end of a project I back it up and
clean it off.

Frequently used files I keep in a separate directory, for example a
DRAWINGS directory, with subdirectories for each project, for clipart, and
for various ad hoc things. I copy these files into the publication
directory as needed. I back up the DRAWINGS directory independently.


I also look after hard copy, but I don't see this in your question. I'll
detail that if you're interested.

James Owens ad354 -at- Freenet -dot- carleton -dot- ca
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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