Want to consistently name and serialize large collections of digital files? Adopt a file naming convention (FNC) and use a renaming utility.

Third-party software utilities are available that can assist with bulk renaming of photos, Word files, PDFs, and more. However, my experience with these utilities has been mixed. Often they simply do not work.

Luckily MacOS and Windows already have a simple and effective tool that can easily rename multiple files. Here's the gist.

When renaming a group of files on a Mac.

1. Locate the files you want to rename.
2. Shift-click to select the desired files.
3. Click on the Action button at the top of the Finder window. … (or right-click on the selected files)
4. Select Rename [X number] Items.
5. Select Format from the drop down menu at the top of the set of rename tool window.

This example of recipe cards sorted by name and serial number would list this way:
BAKING 2018 Apple 1
BAKING 2018 Apple 2
BAKING 2018 Apple 3

When renaming groups of files on a Windows 10 PC:

1. Select files to be renamed and right click the first file.
2. From the pop down contextual menu select Rename.
3. Type a name for the group - space - starting number.
4. Example: group name (10001)
5. Press Enter.
6. Windows will rename the remaining files as follows:
group name (10001)
group name (10002)
group name (10003)

For more about this, visit your operating system Help file.