Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to dive in those piles of paperwork and photos and organize them. This may seem like a daunting task but remember that this huge job is really a bunch of little jobs. The key to getting started is to START NOW! Part of data archiving is simple and just involves changing your mindset when doing normal tasks such as balancing your checkbooks and paying bills.
The key with starting this process is to start the process. Do not wait until tomorrow. Do not allow the procrastination monster to rear its ugly head. Get a simple backup system started and start by adding archiving to your normal activities. When you go online to pay a bill download the statement and save it in your archive. If you get digital receipts through your email save them in your archive. As you start digitizing data follow these steps.
- Start Organizing data on the backup drive. Use some folder templates to save time and increase consistency.
- Worst First! Start with the documents that are the most critical to preserve. This usually means the most recent tax forms and receipts. If there are documents that are deteriorating then consider giving those a higher priority.
- Scan documents and store them in your archival system.
- Keep Going! Just keep going through originals, scanning, and copying them to the backup and archive drives. This is a big job but don’t get discouraged and just keep chipping away at it.
Archiving can be a big task but just remember to do a little at a time and keep going. Once your records are digitized they are easy to maintain. You will have added peace of mind knowing that you have your records available and secured.