Tag Naming Policy

Why Use Tags?

Tags are more flexible than folders because a document can only be in one folder. But a document can have multiple tags, which means that you can quickly pull up a group of documents based on them having a single tag, or having a group of tags.

For example, if you could pull up all the documents that have ANY of the following tags: admin, filing, clients, or discovery. And that might be 75 documents.

Or you could pull up only the documents that have the tag: clients. And that might be only 46 documents.

Or you could filter to only pull up documents that have BOTH the client and discovery tags. And that might be only 11 documents.

It doesn't matter which folders those documents are in. When you search across all your documents using tags to find or filter you have more flexibility and power. So, generally, unless you have a good reason to use folders you want to organize your documents using tags.

Creating Tags

You want to avoid organizational chaos when you use tags. And this means you need a system for naming tags that is 100% consistent.

To ensure that tags are consistently formatted (i.e. standardized): 

  • use only lower case 

  • use only singular names

For example, if you have a tag labeled “Billing” with a capital B and also one labled “billing” with a lowercase 'b' that will end up being two separate tags, creating organizational chaos. And making it harder to find what you’re looking for.

Don't pluralize tags: e.g. “job postings.” Use the singular “job posting”. Again, you want to avoid having two separate tags (i.e. one for “job postings” and “job posting”).

Use Autocomplete 

When applying tags utilize autocomplete to see if you already have that tag. 

When you use autocomplete, as you begin typing the tag you’re looking for, you’ll be able to select from the dropdown list. This also helps you avoid accidental creation of duplicate tags.

Summary of Rules for Naming

  • use only lowercase (e.g. “clients,” not “Clients”)
  • spaces ARE permitted (e.g. “legal ethics”)
  • hyphens ARE permitted (e.g. “co-pilot”)
  • use only letters (using numbers might make sense in some cases, but usually not)
  • do NOT use special characters, even in people’s name (e.g. do NOT use “joe o’keefe”. Use “joe okeefe” instead)

Remember why Tags are Powerful

Tags are more flexible than folders, but sometimes you need to use folders. In that regard, please feel free to consult the File & Folder Naming Policy