Thomas is enjoying his coffee when he suddenly reminded of his interest to a CFA certification program. He quickly reach his smartphone and browse for the requirements while reaching for drawer to check his archives inside his file holder. Then he discover that he might need to show some working experience and most important, his bachelor certificate. Now where did he place it? It’s not there for sure, and now he started to get panicked. Forget about the coffee, he can’t even sit comfortably now, looking for that ^$%& certificate.
You know, you don’t have to be like Thomas, you might want to be like Lizzy, who actually have her archives professionally arranged digitally. Whatever she need, she know where to get it, almost instantly anywhere just by using any internet connectible device. She also has her backup in her laptop for precaution, and even better, inside an external hard drive that is stored in her parents’ house.
Wait, Lizzy’s way seems to be too cumbersome. Yes, but you got the point, digital archive does help us a lot and is now beginning to be legally recognised and accepted for formal affairs. Why would you have to keep that huge space taker cupboard just to file those documents? Besides, with all that papers, it can get very heavy in a blink of an eye, making it hard to be ordered. Well if you must, see how the professionals do it here or just start to try to archive things digitally using these 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Scan or just take a photo of your physical file that you want to store. The key aspect here is clarity, readability, and understandability. You don't need to have a fancy gadgets just to produce digital archives, just try to not edit the file for more than the brightness and contrast. Leave everything as original as possible to maintain its reliability.
Step 2: Separate the archives into main categories then divide them again by sub categories and/or time periods. Create new folders for each different matter, then if the list is still pretty long, separate them again by time periods for time sensitive files or create a sub-category folder inside. For example:
Main Category : Lizzy’s Tax
> Sub-Category 1: Personal Tax
>> Time Period: January, February, etc.
> Sub-Category 2: Corporate Tax
>> Sub-Category 2.1: VAT
>>> Time Period: January, February, etc.
Step 3.1: Manage your archive’s backup offline. The trick here is to create a routine schedule to compress your files and folders into one ‘.zip’ file and place them elsewhere. This can be in a USB flash drive, an external hard drive, or simply your other device. You can transfer the file locally either by using bluetooth, wireless LAN or cable connection, but remember to check your file’s quality, make sure it’s readable and in a good shape (not corrupted). Do this by opening your file after it is transferred, if everything’s good, continue to the next additional step.
Step 3.2: Although this is an additional precautions, making an online backup is too easy to be skipped nowadays. The simplest way to do this is by emailing yourself the file using attachments. Pay attention to the email subject, use the most relevant name that you can easily remember, since you’ll be most likely to use the search menu to do this. Other trick is to store a .pdf or simple text file (.txt) in your gadget as a note of where and when you send the email. But emails are often have a very limited maximum file size. Multiple emails are alright, but if you want other alternative, you can use Google Drive or iCloud or any other cloud (remote) storing space. Even a website with a hosting service can do this trick. Use the most suitable service for your needs, some offer a free almost unlimited storage, some other offer a better security, encryption, and access levels that can be very helpful for corporate archive.
As simple as it gets, digital archiving can be frustrating. Don’t stop too soon by pushing too hard, take your time to complete every necessary file. Sometimes it can take several hours, but you’ll enjoy what Lizzy enjoy, easy peaceful life, knowing that you have everything you need stored safely, with a backup plan! Good luck, have fun.