Keeping track of different versions of a document can be difficult, especially when working in collaboration with others or across different platforms. If you cant figure out which version of a file is most current, you can wind up wasting a great deal of time and energy.
The result can be disastrous. For example, you might accidentally submit the wrong version of a document to people who then use that information to make important decisions. Such mistakes can have serious consequences when working with financial or legal documents.
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 documents:
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, et cetera.
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.
Create standardized and consistent naming for document titles so items are always saved with the same names.
Embed the status of the document as part of the header or footer or with a watermark on the document. (Some examples: draft, final, preapproval, approved, published).