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Too many people making changes to a doc? Tips to gain control

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in Centerpiece,Office software,Office Technology

edit documentManaging versions for any document can be difficult to track, especially when working in collaboration with others, or across different platforms. Time and energy can be wasted working on a version that is outdated simply because you can’t figure out which one is the most current.

The result of this can be disastrous, for example when you accidentally submit the wrong version and people use that information to make decisions. Think of how serious the consequences could be when working with financial or legal documents.  One wrong number can have a huge impact for accountants and the reports they generate.

Depending on what type of platform is used in your organization, and how you work collaboratively with others, some of the following tips may be useful to gain control of your versions:

1. Incorporate version control directly into the document by having a table at the beginning or end that includes elements like approval date, name of approver, version number, etc.  

a. Update it!  

2. Establish an editing order among the collaborators. This way each person knows exactly when he or she is supposed to be editing the document and which version is the most current.  

3. Create standardized and consistent naming for the document title so it’s always saved with the same name.  

a. Choose one way to write the date and stick to it!  One recommendation is to write the date yyyy-mm-dd so it sorts chronologically (e.g. 2016-03-20, 2016-03-21).

b. Decide how to denote different versions (e.g. v1, v2, v3, OR v1.1, v1.2, v1.3, OR A, B, C …).  

4. Embed the status of the document as part of the header/footer or with a watermark on the document (e.g. DRAFT, FINAL, Pre-APPROVAL, APPROVED, PUBLISHED).

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