RocketFusion CMS

Upoading and Managing Meeting Files

Posting Files

To post a file to your Files Module, whether you're on a Files Module category page, or any other page that has a Files Module category attached as a Page Section, you need to be logged in as an admin with rights to that page. If you have those privileges, you should see a green Upload Files button above the list of files in the category you intend to work with.


Once there, you can simply drag files into the open white box that says "Drag files here." You can also click the Add Files link on the bottom left of that box. When you're done, you can either click the blue Return button to return to the previous page, or click the yellow Manage Uploaded Files button to view the files from a management perspective. This is also where you will need to go to to rename some of the files if they are not sorting the way you want (see, below).

File_SortingSorting Files

There are three ways you can sort your files, each both in ascending and descending directions:

  • Sort by sort order Number, then by Filename (alphabetically ascending and descending)
  • Sort by Filename (alphabetically ascending and descending)
  • Sort by Date Uploaded (chronologically old to new, and new to old)

In general, for File categories that involve agendas and minutes, which necessarily should appear in some sort of date order with newest meetings sorting first down to older meetings, we recommend sorting by Filename Desc. Do not sort by sortorder number unless you have very few files in that category and it is important for certain files to appear above others.

Experience has shown that, although it appears at first glance that sorting by upload date, new to old, would be the obvious choice, there are several drawbacks to this method:

  • First off, you may at some point find a folder on your hard drive of older meetings and want to include them in your Files category. Since newer files will always sort at the top if you choose to sort by upload date, even though these older meetings may have been from three years ago, they are still considered new files on the website, and so they'll now be at the top, obviously out of order from the other, recent meeting files.
  • Second, relying on upload dates to sort your files means the filenames won't need to be named consistently, which can eventually lead to lazy file naming, which could lead to confusion on the part of the people coming to the site to access those files. Proper naming of meeting agenda and minutes files is critical to enforcing consistency and therefore confidence on the part of the people coming to your website to access the files, and know what the files are for.

File_NamingIf you choose sorting your meeting files by Filename Desc, this provides the following benefits:

  • It enforces the necessity of naming every file in a consistent manner, such as "Committee Name yyyy-mm-dd Agenda.pdf", which will give the category listing a consistent and orderly list of files, with the only difference per filename being the date and whether it's an agenda or the minutes.
  • It allows the sorting of newer meetings at the top, with older meetings sorted below, regardless of whether they were uploaded in date order. In fact, if you were missing all of 2016 or 2013 (in the example to the right) and then found them one day, you could simply name them in the same format as the other files in this category, then upload them en masse and they would appear in the proper place in the list.
  • It also allows the website software to see the date in machine-readable format so you can use the Link Files feature in the calendar to synchronize all files in a particular Files category with meetings in a particular Calendar category. This gives your users the ability to find the files both through the Files listing as well as through the Calendar events themselves.

Because you can display File categories in a table format, which allows for paging through them ten at a time as well as searching, we recommend that you do not create separate File categories for each year, nor separating agendas from minutes. Just put all your meetings for a particular board in one Category, sort the files by filename desc, and you'll be all set. Just remember to keep the names consistent.

Fixing a Messy Files Category

To get the files already in a category to sort by date, you need to first take a look at what's there to see the pattern. If you need to clean up a committee meetings Files category, your best option is to see what naming format was used most, and rename all other files to be in that same format.

If the meeting dates in the filename use the full name of a month, such as January, June or July, you will need to change those filenames to use 01, 06 or 07, for example. And, yes, you should "zero pad" the filenames, since the files will be sorting alphabetically. Otherwise they will sort by 1, 10, 11, 12, 2, 3, 4, instead of 01, 02, 03, 04, etc. Also, note the single - hyphen between the numbers. And using the "yyyy-mm-dd" format, ensures all years will sort together, then month, then date. If you use the 1-23-02 format, for instance, all meetings in January (1) will sort together, then by day, with year being the final sort criteria. Although the format may look weird, and too "computer-y" to your users, they will quickly figure it out once they notice all years are sorted together. From there they'll see the months listed in order.

file renamingRenaming Your Files

To rename the files that are already on the website, mouse-over the yellow Manage button and click Manage Category. Once there, scroll down the list of files and change the filenames right there. Make sure the committee name is exactly the same for every file, remove any case of the word "Meeting" in the filenames, since they're in a folder named Meetings, and be mindful of the _ underscores in the filenames. It works best if you leave those in, and don't introduce any spaces.

Note: the _ underscore character is replaced with a regular space when displayed to the public. If you upload new files with spaces in the filename they will be replaced with _ underscores. If you add spaces to filenames when on the Manage Files page, they will be replaced with _ underscores.

Lastly, we recommend saving your minutes and agendas in PDF format, as not everyone has the latest version of MS Word.

Uploading Files through the Calendar

We also recommend that, once you've set up your files and have synchronized them with their corresponding meetings in the Calendar (highly recommended), you should start uploading your meeting files through the calendar instead, which will automatically link those files to that meeting in the calendar, while also placing them in the File category for the committee, thus providing your users with two places to access the file.

Note: despite the fact that you may have files, dated properly for your meetings, it is highly advisable that you have a calendar event (meeting) for every meeting of that committee. Unless you don't display your Calendar on the website at all, your users will go there looking for meetings, never thinking that you merely upload your agendas and minutes in a file area somewhere on the website.

Synchronizing Existing Meeting Files with Calendar Events

You'll notice that, when not in management view, some of the files have a (View on Calendar) link next to them. Those files were uploaded through the actual calendar event, which attaches the file to that event, while also showing it here.

If you have many meeting files from the past that you want to synchronize with their meeting in the calendar, go to the Calendar, muse over the yellow Manage button and click Link Files. On this page you can select the File Category that matches a Calendar category for every category you have in your Calendar. Once done making your selections, the website code will run through all files in each Files category looking for dates in the yyyy-mm-dd format, then looking to see if there's an event in the calendar on that date for the chosen Calendar category. If there is, the two will be connected. This is a good process to do every once in a while.

file sync

Appears in: Files Module , Open Government Module