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Version control is extremely important for us, as there’s nothing worse than having to compare half a dozen documents with the same filename to find out which is the most recent, or having to combine documents that have been redrafted by different people at different times.
There should always be a ‘master version’ of any document, and only one person should be working on it at any one time. The project manager should always know who has the master version.
You should always incorporate version information in the document’s filename. Drafts for internal consumption should end in letters, and drafts for clients should end in numbers. Thus, the first draft I create will end “va”, to show that it is version a. If I send it to Richard and he edits it, then his version will end “vb”. He may also put his initials at the end of the filename, if it’s useful to know who worked on it last. When we have agreed on a draft (perhaps at “vc” or “vd”) we send it to the client as “v1” – to show that it is the first draft we have presented to them. When we’ve had feedback and come to rework it, our internal drafts will again end in letters. The first will be “v1a”, the second “v1b” and so on, and we’ll send it back to the client as “v2”.