Until I read Phil's post I didn't realise the eminently sensible Year, Month, Day (YYYY-MM-DD) format had official status.
Hot Dating Tips for Marketers | Phil Couling
Why aren’t more marketers using ISO 8601, the international standard for date and time formats?
Everyone with a marketing role has a need to eliminate ambiguity from their communication, and this is such a simple thing to fix that I am always surprised to see highly localized and ambiguous formats for dates used in materials being designed for international and multi-cultural audiences...
I use it, and suspect most do, for file naming because computers will sort it sensibly and it's "embedded" in the name so won't change, like properties can, if a file is copied. In fact "date" is one of my most used ActiveWords as it enters the current date, in my preferred format, wherever I happen to need it.
ISO 8601 format ActiveWords dates
If you have the inplace functions loaded* ActiveWords will enter current dates & times, and more, with a few keystrokes. Some applications will do this but ActiveWords does it anywhere you can type: File/Folder naming, text editors, web forms, even a command line.
To get the ISO 8601 date format in ActiveWords set the InPlace - Set Date Format ActiveWord to %Y-%m-%d. Then just type date, hit the ActiveWords key and the current date is entered: 2009-03-02. If "date" is too much typing just edit the InPlace - Date Stamp ActiveWord to whatever you want: even "d"!
AM/PM, why bother?
While doing that also set the time to, so sensible why isn't it the only one used, 24 hour time format. It beats me why people still bother with 12 hours times and AM/PM when there is no need for such silliness. In ActiveWords set the InPlace - Set Time Format to %H:%M:$S. Type time, then hit the ActiveWords key to get the current time: 23:18:19. The ActiveWord date time returns 2009-03-02 @ 23:18:48 showing it took 29 seconds to think and type this last bit
What time is it? Local time!
One other bit of time date related sense caught my eye this week. Mindjet sent out a web meeting advisory and had the grace to include a variety of local times & dates in addition to the actual US PST time.
A daytime meeting in the US or U.K. usually means a late night or early morning, the next day, for me so it's useful to get the time right!
If you're arranging international meetings it's nice to include a few other regions in your advisory if your meeting system doesn't do it automatically.
* If not already installed ActiveWords Plus or Enterprise users can download Inplace functions free from: http://www.activewords.com/applications.html (look for ActiveWords Agents INPLACE)
** Observant readers may have noticed TypePad doesn't quite support the ISO date format. The default preferences have the YMD OK but only offer "." as a delimiter.