Paper is giving way to electronic documents everywhere we turn. Are you taking advantage of this?
With so many documents being available in the PDF format, and the important documents we need for medical and personal identification, is it not time to start your switch from paper?
Here is an example of a file structure under Windows [image will enlarged if clicked on]
1. Notice the file for each calendar year.
This helps you separate bills, receipts,
important documents, etc. and be able
to quickly locate them.
2. Notice under 2016 a folder for each
major area of expenses.
3. Under Family there are three subfolders
with one for each family member. In
the example you will find image files
for banking information, copies of
Grades, pet records, Birth Certificates,
Social Security Card,s Drivers License
(front & back). This can help establish your identity if a major disaster hits
your home or area like an earthquake,
fire, explosion, tornado or flooding.
4. A list of all credit cards you have plus
their number and how to contact the
companies. All the open accounts or
debts along with address, phone and
5, Medical Information especially if any in your family needs many medications or has chronic health
problems so YOU have the medical records and where perscriptions can be transfered from.
6. Friends and Family with their contact information to update them or seek help if needed.
Most computers will allow you to attach a USB 2.0 or 3.0 device to your computer. This can be an external disk drive or a thumb drive that you would update periodically (once a month perhaps) or as more important information is added. External disk drives cost more and are physically larger but store far more data. A thumb drive holds less (avoid anything less then 32GB) and are smaller but each time you write to the thumb drive you degrade the live of the thumb drive. If you can buy an external drive it could back-up most or all of your computer but it is still volatile to electrical surges, falls and water damage just like a thumb drive.
By using standard spreadsheets or "Word" type documents, you can build an impressive collection of key information. Some items may need to be scanned using a friend's scanner. Some items, such as bank or credit card information is often available in a PDF format at no charge.
Remember to think your plan out in detail and adjust it as needed to insure you have protection against loss. Find time to think about your needs for records and information to guide you in your preparation and collection of documents. The extra effort could bring significant value to you and your family.
Do not consider the example list above as your list as everyone has special needs which must be included in your planning and document collection and protection. One category missing: Insurance with subfolders for car, dental, homeowners, flexable spending, life, medical and others.
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