Chico State Student Organizations Archive

Chico Archives Toolkit (CAT) a guide to helping students organize and archive their records.

CAT Student Records Life Cycle

Student Records Life Cycle: Create

Student organizations usually have meeting to discuss issues related to the mission of their organizations. Your organization's meeting minutes are also a historical record of the work your student group engages in. Keeping good meeting minutes is the most basic way for you to document the impact of your student organization. Below if a quick two page guide on using Google Docs to take good minutes.

Student Records Life Cycle: Describe

File Naming Conventions

After you create a new piece of work, how you organize and name your files will determine ease of access later.

  • Use an easy to remember, clear and consistent structure, with a unique identifier. It needs to make sense to you and anyone else who may be accessing the file. Keep your file names short, make it easier to read, and remember there may be limits to the size of file and folder names.

  • Files will group according to the first few components, numerically and then alphabetically, so begin with general concepts moving to more specific later.

  • The three-letter file extensions for specific applications (.docx, .jpg, .ppt, .xls, etc..) should also be considered, especially when using abbreviations or codes.

  • Consider:

    • Type of data for information in the document (ex: meeting minutes, agenda)

    • Project title or class acronym

      • DDLM.annot.bib.MCGS.ppt

    • Dates

      • 2017.mtg.docx

      • 2015agenda.docx

    • Versions

      • CO_Rpt_draft.xls

      • OfficeProceduresV002.xls

      • 20151101-contract-SB-signed.pdf

Other tips

  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Date/ time standard (YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD) guarantees your files will stay in chronological order (ex. 1992.10.12.pdf 20010829.pdf

  • Special characters to avoid (ex: ~!@$%^&*( ),:;`<>? [{]}

  • Leading zeros for sequential ordering (ex: LunarNewYear.jpg.0001, LunarNewYear.jpg.0002, LunarNewYear.jpg.0003

  • Don’t use spaces.

    • Apply underscores (ex: bienvenida_2014_menu.pdf)

    • Dashes (ex: DA-survey.xls)

    • Camel case (ex: McintoshKnapsackExercise.jpg)

Renaming Large amounts of files

  • Bulk Rename Utility allows you to easily rename files and entire folders, for free!

  • Renamer is a batch file renaming app for macOS.  

Additional Resources:

Student Records Life cycle: Organize

In the short video below, we contine the CAT workshop discussion about how to convert multiple tiff files into pdfs. If you have Acrobat installed in your computer you can do this with any file type.

The WayBack Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web, created by the Internet Archive. The WayBack Machine has developed a program to "crawl the internet" and download all publicly accessible web pages. In the quick CAT video below, we discuss how you can use this awesome tool to preserve your student organization web page.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico