I have a small one-architect practice, but I used to run the stdio in a larger one years ago. For project files in my current office, I assign a project number and every file for that job goes in the folder or it's sub-folder. The project numbers apply to correspondence, CAD and accounting. The 1st 2-digits are the year, and the 3rd-5th are the sequential project numbers. Subprojects are project-number and it's a/b/c/ suffix; "17432(q.)" -- a new 2017 project, the 432th project # assigned, subproject (q.).
The actual CAD files and Sketchup/Layout files have a file-name hierarchy; minor revisions and "save" files with a a/b/c-suffix. Major revisions or versions get a incremental number 1-2-3-4-, etc... (xxxx) is a project name or descriptive name.
v1 xxxx Architectural files "v1 Plans".
s1 xxxx Site Files
m1 xxxx Sketchup models "m3 Dakota" - the 3rd incremental model for project "Dakota".
p1 xxxx Layout Files.
d1 xxxx Separate detail files.
I have several master project prototype folders listed under "CAD" with sample templates for use based on type, scale, etc... And for sample and prototype details and mfrs. details. The same with typical correspondence, forms, and common reports for re-use or adaptation. The prototype CAD files already have the titleblock-master and sheet layout, the layers, fonts, screen colors for that particular type of drawings; 3/8"-scale detail page, 1/8"-scale residential, 1/16th commercial, 40-ft site plan, etc...
PM xxxxxxx is a project memo
EM xxxxxxx is e-mail in .pdf-format
.Pdf-plots go in a "plots" subfolder, with an optional "date"-subfolder. I initially plot Datacad page by page to. .pdf, then consolidate into one .pdf for that document issue. Individual page .pdfs are sequential; a01, a02a, a02b, a03, etc... The consolidated .pdf file is named by it's date - purpose - and identifier/name; "2017-04-12-Apr Permit Submittal Dakota.pdf"
In a complicated DATACAD project, I might flag each page's layer set-up and position using individual named "save-view"; cs1, a2, s3, e4, p6, e7, d8. Handy for navigating the overall drawing-field, and for correct and reproducible plotting.
All projects are printed using the same saved pen-table and settings on 11x17" paper, and the titleblocks and page-size formatted accordingly. Any plot leaving the office is plotted to .pdf first with the date/purpose identifiers -- then plotted to paper or e-mailed.
I don't use xrefs or self-xrefs often. I recently have found that changing the on-screen xref used for a base-reference to "dotted" linetype creates a handy 50%-screened-effect for a background that snap-able, but unobtrusive in the background on the monitor and on-paper. Experiment varying the spacing and line-weight, depending on the purpose for the desired screened effect.
I use a generous palette of linetypes, pronounced overshoots, and varied line-weights in my pen-table, to plot a hand-drawn "furry" architectural drawings. "Hand-lettered" and "hand-drawn" fonts also help give it an appearance of professional craftsmanship -- versus a cold, neat and sterile CAD drawing.