digitize better.

We are living in a world wherein documentations are increasingly handled digitally and governments and institutions are pacing swiftly towards a paperless future. Every one of us has important documents that we need for different purposes. These important documents may include your national ID card, passport, driving license, ATM cards, credit cards, health cards, vehicle licenses, insurance documents, visa copy (in case if you are an expat living in a foreign country), any other relevant certificates, etc. There are instances when we need to have them shown or submitted for a variety of administrative or clerical purposes. People generally have their digital versions scattered all around the place. Either it might be in an email abyss or in some pen drive or some cloud service which is not organized well. The core reason for relying on digitization of any sort of document is retrievability.  If we cannot retrieve a particular document when it is exactly required, that defeats the purpose of documenting them in the first place. In this post, I shall share some of the ways that I have been using for several years now for digitally organizing documents.

The first thing is to have a scanning app on your phone. My recommendations are Scanner Mini and Microsoft Office Lens. This will help you to quickly scan any paper documents you’ve. After you have the documents scanned and available, you can try any of these options:

Google photos has been really useful for everyone to organize their photos very conveniently and curate them well using AI technology. But we can use it as a tool for storage and retrieval of our documents as well. Let’s say you have a driving license to be scanned. Use any of the apps specified above and get it scanned as an image. Rename them as “Driving License” and save them to Google Photos. In Google photos, select this photo and add it to a new album and rename it as “Driving License”. So the next time, when you’re outside and you quickly need to have the soft copy of your driving license, just search by “Driving license” in your Google photos library, and the license would pop up as an album. I recommend spending an hour digitizing all the important documents that you may need to retrieve for any purpose.

In the same way, cloud backup services like Dropbox, Box or Google Drive shall also be used to store these documents. All the relevant documents can be properly named and archived with any of these services. The same approach can be also used for other documents like receipts, certificates, etc as well. Scanning alone is not sufficient. Archiving is closely tied with a proper identifiable organization of these documents and their swift retrieval. Archival, identification and retrievability need to be a cohesive process. Each person has got different sets of requirements and the way of archival would also be different. The key is to adapt the method that is the most effortless for you.

We can’t underestimate the convenience and ease of use that this practice of digitizing documents and organizing them properly ensues in our daily lives. Let’s be more organized. God bless!

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