Arshad Mirza describes the system used at his workplace to keep tabs on the latest files and track revisions.
"In my office, we use Microsoft Excel to manage our files under a construction drawings record-keeping system. We track our drawings in two ways: with a hard copy and in a list. Our digital files are saved on our networks in the following named folders:
1. Original Drawings: The original signed drawings are kept in this folder, along with a forwarding letter.
2. Current Drawings: The current drawings for the respective structure are filed here for easy access to their updated status.
3. Old Index Drawings: All of the old files for the respective structure are kept in this folder, after exclusion from current drawings and due to revision.
We also keep a list of drawings in a Microsoft Excel file. The drawing list contains the following information:
The list is updated regularly after the next notification of drawings, and its hard copy is inserted in items 1 and 2 accordingly."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Arshad's method of tracking files depends on the users adding the new data to the spreadsheet and making a hard copy of the drawing. Once that's done, anyone can find the drawings, and they know what was issued when. It also creates an archival system of submitted drawings, which is equally important. How many times have you wondered what your client was sent? There are many different techniques that can be used to track files. Determine what information you will need — during the lifetime of the project and after — and make it so that anyone can find a file, regardless if they worked on the project or not.