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Old 12-22-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
Steve Rindsberg
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,281
Default Document classification

This seems the best place to post this. I'm about to take delivery on a document scanner. In case you're not familiar with these, they're special-purpose scanners that scan small piles of letter-size and smaller paper very quickly. Most can scan directly to PDF (and in some cases, do text recognition along the way).

Both the scanners and disk space have gotten inexpensive enough to make this practical for me. Space here is tight, and I figure I can eventually get rid of an entire 4-drawer file cabinet in the office and bunches of boxes before the contents gather mildew in the basement.


But having made that decision, I realized that I've no idea how I will (should!) name the files as I scan these things. Between the librarian/database wizard in our virtual midst and all the other smart folks, I figured this'd be a good place to start gathering ideas.

The paper I'll be scanning includes bank records, tax records, technical information on mostly computer-related subjects, contracts/agreements.

I'm thinking of some sort of short encoding system; I don't care for novella-length file names. Too much potential for compu-mishap there.

Possibly start each file name with e.g.

TAX_ for tax documents
FIN_ for financial/bank papers

Then subcategories followed by date/short descriptions, a la:

Bank statements from 2009 from the credit union

2008 personal federal taxes

The subcategories would be different for different main categories. The year wouldn't be especially useful information for, say, programming info.

But all this is just first-round thoughts. I have to assume that there are already classification systems worked out and tested. I'd like to give those a bit of study before I reinvent the wheel (and possibly invent a hexagonal one instead of just using the circular design that's already available).

Steve Rindsberg
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