You may think that you don’t put pen to paper all too often anymore. But the number of documents and the vast quantity of information that we build up and keep on a daily basis far exceeds the amount that we’d expect. Personal records and business records mount up quickly and it’s important that you have easy access to them whenever you may need them. So, here are a few ideas to bear in mind when it comes to organised and securely storing your information in the modern age.
Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket
Most of us keep the majority of our files on our laptops. This is understandable. We tend to type up more documents than we handwrite nowadays. There is a whole host of reasons for this. Firstly, it eradicates the problem of illegible handwriting. Not everyone has fine penmanship, and some of us write in such a manner that only we are able to decipher our notes. Secondly, typing is often much faster than writing by hand. Generally, the more you practice, the more words you can type per minute; with so many of us spending increasing periods of time online on average, the average words per minute that we type is pretty impressive. Looks like all of those long online conversations do have some professional and productive benefit! Next, you can count words more easily. Word count features on programmes that create word documents mean that you know exactly how much you have written without having to count word by word. This is particularly efficient for longer pieces of writing, such as essays, dissertations, articles, and blog posts. Finally (for now), documents can be more easily shared when they take a virtual format. You can pass your writing on in mere seconds by attaching a word document or PDF to an email, or simply copy and pasting from one programme to another. However, as the old saying goes, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket, and this applies to the secure storage of typed online documents. You never know when your laptop might break, or somehow wipe data. External hard drives may also malfunction. So it’s best to have as many copies of important documents as possible. This can include having a physical copy. This is easily achieved by printing out your virtual documents, giving you something tangible to hold onto as a backup.
Consider Outsourcing Storage
Just as you should keep your documents in as many different forms as possible, it’s a good idea to have them stored in more than one place. This is when outsourcing can come in useful. External document storage allows you to send off your documents to be stored outside of your personal home or office. This gives you extra peace of mind, as someone independent of you has taken care of your documents into their hands too. Companies such as Oasis Information Secured also offer the service of supplying an online portal. This means that you can request and receive digital copies of your records whenever you want without even having to leave your own home or place of work.
Remember that Organisation is Key
You may think that merely keeping a hold of documents is sufficient, but what’s the use of knowing you have the documents but not where they are? If you have to pull up a certain file, you want to be able to do this quickly and efficiently. If you have no means of organisation, you may find yourself wasting hours, if not days, of precious time sifting through documents with neither reason nor rhyme to their organisation. So make sure to keep on top of your organisation from day one. This will make life much easier for you down the line. Be logical and make sure that you stick to the same method as time passes. This consistency will allow you to know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. Colour coding is a good place to start. Labels and stickers are good too. If you have a mass of files, you can even go as far as to set up shelves and have different shelves for different types of documents.
Filing isn’t quite as simple as you thought, is it? However, once you get into the swing of things, the organisation will come more naturally to you. Never again will you spend extended periods of time flipping through files and sifting through folders in search of a specific document. Instead, you’ll be able to pull what you need straight from its designated place. Easy peasy!