These are some tips by Tom for naming and organizing electronic files.



I usually have between 100-200 electronic files for each exam session. These include Word documents, pdf reports from IBIS, reports from my own MS Access database, Excel tables, photographs, digital audio files for Group 1 internal assessment, etc. Because I include files for our Grade 10 prep year, that means I have to manage three candidate sessions at the same time. As I write this I have current work for the May 2008, May 2009 and May 2010 sessions. Since my tasks are similar for each session (and so the files I maintain are also similar), things would get confused very quickly if I didn't have some logical organization of these files.



File names


When you download reports from IBIS or IBNET you will need to change the file name, since IBIS generally gives these files very poor names.

I use very similar files for each exam session, so to keep things straight I always indicate the session in the filename. For example, the list of extended essay supervisors and students for M07 and M08 are:

M07 EE by supervisor
M08 EE by supervisor


Sometimes I have to make changes to the data on IBIS, and then generate a new version of a report that I already have. It is a good idea to keep old versions, in case there is a question about what was changed and why. If I have two versions of the same report, I include the report date in the filename. If you use the format yyyymmdd, it is then easy to sort files by name and date in your file manager. Here are a couple examples of the candidate registration report from IBIS.

M07 candidate registration 20061026
M07 candidate registration 20061115



Folder names


Imagine a room of file cabinets. Each cabinet has several drawers. Each drawer has several file folders (or portfolios).

Windows Explorer lets you organize folders within folders in a similar hierarchy.

I first create a new folder for each exam session. Think of these as separate cabinets:

May 2007
May 2008
May 2009


Inside each of these session folders, I create several subfolders. Think of these as separate drawers:

  • M07 Calendar
  • M07 Nonregular diploma
  • M07 Extended Essay
  • M07 Group 4 project
  • M07 Registration
  • M07 External assessment
  • M07 Mock exams
  • M07 IAPG
  • M07 Exams
  • M07 Results
  • M07 Retakes

Many of these subfolders have their own subfolders, like the file portfolios in each drawer. For example, in my folder:

M07 Group 4 project

I have these subfolders:

  • M07 G4P workshop
  • M07 G4P photographs