Social Media

The better date format: YYYYMMDD, DDMMYYYY, or MMDDYYYY?

Date format chart

Do you ever put the date in your filename on your computer? If so, what date format do you use?

Take today, January 9, 2020. Here’s some ways you could date your file:

  • “Jan 9, 2020”
  • “1-9-2020”
  • “9-Jan-2020”
  • “09-01-2020”
  • “2020-01-09”
  • “20200109”

I love dating all my files and folders on my computer using the last one in this list, “20200109” aka, YYYYMMMDD. It sorts BEAUTIFLY!

BEAUTIFULLY
Haha
Beautifly is a fun word.

Here’s a screenshot of some old files on my computer, using YYYYMMDD

screenshot of sorting folders by YYYYMMDD

This date format sorts beautifully on a computer.

If you use a format that puts the month first (MMDDYYYY or MM-DD-YYYY), then over the course of several years, all your files from one month would get mashed together. “Hey, here’s a file I worked on from July 2019 right next to a file I made in July 2018. That’s helpful! I want to know what I did in July for every year.” (not really)

If you were trying to be European and put the date first (DD-MM-YYYY), then well, you could see all the files you worked on the 13th of every month together. And then all the files from the 14th of every month together. Yipes!

YYYYMMDD or YYYY-MM-DD is clearly superior. It completely sorts by date without any problems.

You know who uses YYYYMMDD? China, Japan, South & North Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Hungary, Mongolia, Lithuania, and Bhutan. That’s right, Lithuania is in the list of great countries who know how to date things properly. Right nearby to this Baltic country is my heritage, Estonia. (I’m half Estonian). However, Estonia, land of the e-government, doesn’t use YYYYMMDD. *shakes my head*

A Google search for YYYYMMDD DDMMYYYY MMDDYYYY yields results that are all technical answers on how to convert the date format via coding. I want to know about the CULTURE of using these date formats.

Maybe I should search on Medium.com. They have helpful articles. Guess what? They have zero results for this search. ZERO.

There’s has got to be a history behind this. Some groups hundreds of years ago started dating things in a particular order. Who started which format? Which groups did it?

Ok, let’s change the Google query to use following words:
“date format” why culture history.
And let’s remove stuff like:
-convert -parse -code -program -python -javascript -php

Hmmm. Nothing really.

If anyone knows of any articles or books, please let me know! Google is not answering my question.

funny image used in header is from https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1408930-galaxy-brain

Comments are very welcome, please leave a reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.