What information do you include in your invoice's file name created in TO3000?
Thread poster: Chunyi Chen

Chunyi Chen
United States
Local time: 14:36
English to Chinese
May 10, 2012

Dear TO3000 V10 users,

Please bear with this beginner's question, but I would like to know what information you include in the file name for your invoice. In the past, I had invoices with file names like "Invoice #_client abbreviation_PO#_Job#_from my name.pdf". With TO3000, however, I found that the default invoice file name comes from the system's Global Code. I managed to add "Invoice" as prefix and "YYYY" as suffix, so now the invoice's file name looks like "Invoice_0003_2012.rtf". Isn't this still too little information that should be there in the file name for an invoice?

Thank you in advance for sharing with me your thoughts and suggestions.



Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
English to French
Redundancy May 10, 2012

Chun-yi Chen wrote:
..."Invoice #_client abbreviation_PO#_Job#_from my name.pdf"...

Why would you need to include so many details in a file name? Tree structures are there to get you organised, and file names should merely hint at the file content within the folder hierarchy.

Invoices generated by TO3000 are by default located in a folder named Invoices, which is included in a folder named after the customer's name: from the location of an invoice file, you can know immediately those details.

Then invoices can include several PO/job numbers, so naming an invoice after a PO or job number can be confusing.

In my humble opinion, the shorter the filename, the better: my invoices are named Global_Code.rtf|pdf (I use v9 and plan to upgrade to v10 soon), and I have never felt the need to add any more info.
Usually, long file names can't be displayed completely in any Windows list (search hits, folder contents...) without further action (like mouse hovering or highlighting), so I find there is little point in extending file names over 10-15 characters...

In the old days, DOS could support only 8-digit file names, and back then it was paramount to devise a folder hierarchy that made sense. Maybe that's why I find that a neat folder tree looks tidier than 40-digit file names in endless lists...



Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:36
English to German
+ ...
I would be careful with consecutive numbers in file names May 10, 2012

The file name shouldn't contain too many details. Firstly, it is nobody's business how many jobs you have done so far and how many invoices you have written this year / in your career, secondly, the client will never search for Chun-yi's invoice #00042, but by their own search criteria.

I have established the following file names:


XYZ is the abbreviation of the client's company name. The file names do not contain any PO number created by the client. It is their mysterious filing system, not mine, and it will create nothing but chaos in my own system.

The invoice itself, however, should contain the full invoice number, including a consecutive number for your own accounting and filing purposes and for reference and repeat the PO number provided by the client.

I hope this helps, just keep it simple.



Edited for typo

[Edited at 2012-05-10 07:38 GMT]


Chunyi Chen
United States
Local time: 14:36
English to Chinese
Thank you both for your very helpful input May 10, 2012

Hi Philippe and Nicole,

Thank you both for your input. "Keep it simple" is great advice and I will try to stick to this rule as much as I can:)

I used to think that an invoice should contain as much information as possible in its file name so that it's easier for the client to identify who this invoice is from and what job this invoice is for just by looking at the file name without actually opening it. But this actually adds more work for me. Based on what you told me, I should really make the file name shorter.

Nicole, if you add the client's abbreviation at the end of your file name, this means you need to manually add that piece of info to each invoice, right? I know that TO3000 allows you to add a suffix, but I am not sure if it allows me to use a variable like this (client name) as a suffix or not.

One last comment: I have no problem using the "consecutive number" approach. This is the default setting provided by TO3000 and it seems logical (and simple enough) to me. The client really wouldn't get too much information from these numbers, unless this client were my one and the only client:)

Thank you again! Now I am going back to continue playing with TO3000.



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