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Document Frenzy or How I Got All My Documents Organized

Updated on September 11, 2018
Get all your e-documents organized easily
Get all your e-documents organized easily | Source

Document flow problem

We are all deluged with documents every day: kid’s term papers, auto insurance, Photos from family vacations, Tax forms, bills in the mail and dozens of other documents. In many cases we get confused and even lose our important data. Can you remember what was the last time when you were trying to find a document or a photo taken a few years ago and you could not locate it? I lost a lot of important papers many times. The feeling was terrible.

As technology advances, and we get richer, life was supposed to get simpler. Instead we are inundated every day with choices to make and challenges to meet – whether they are job related or in our personal lives. Get organized – they say. Whether it was my mother or my boss, they all said get organized.

And I did!

Get organized! Use your own effective document management system with one universal data format.

A way to get your records and documents organized

After several researches I have invented my own record and document management system. I converted all my documents to PDF and saved them in folders with relevant names to keep it safe as a personal archive. As an example, for my family photos archive I use the following system: /Photos/Family/[Month-Day-Year]-[Event Name]-[Photo number], for the utility bills: /Bills/[Month_Year]-[Bill type]. So now I can easily access any record with a few clicks when I need it.

The most challenging part was to select a format that allows me to keep all of my data safe and use the volume of my storage effectively.

I have decided to use PDF as the main document storing format because it presents text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Any document in PDF looks exactly the same on any device and in any software environment. In addition, such data in PDF can be secured with many different restrictions (reading, copying, editing), and I can also convert my PDF document to an editable format with the styles preservation. Today, the tools required to convert various formats into PDF are omnipresent. Most computing environments and office productivity software bundle these tools as a standard offering. For some documents in MS Office formats (such as Word or Excel) I use a standard Save to PDF functionality.

To convert file to PDF with MS Word 2013:

  1. Open document in MS Word 2013
  2. Go to a File menu
  3. Select "Export"
  4. Click on ‘Create PDF/XML document’.

How to convert documents without special software installed

When this desktop software is not available we can go to the web and convert any editable format to PDF online. It took a couple of minutes for me to google for 'Word to PDF' and I found multiple free services. I usually convert my kid’s term papers in Excel to PDF with It is free, it works very fast and accurately, it keeps my private data safe.

You can easily use any PDF online service to convert Word documents, presentations and even the web pages to PDF in a few minutes. But my other question was: what should I do with the numerous papers – printed documents.

Since I receive most of my bills by mail I usually transfer these document to images with my phone’s camera. After I download all images from my cellphone to a computer in a standard JPG format I convert them to PDF.

JPG is a file format used for the lossy compression of digital images. Such images look fuzzy when you scale them up, as they have lost some of the information when they were compressed.

Transfer images to PDF with a few taps

I have found a nifty internet service, which helped me converting all of my photos plus the scans from different sources and formats into the universal PDF format. With that online service I can easily convert all of my bills’ photos right on my smartphone. Now I can open these photos anywhere on any hardware, print them, forward them as safe attachments to emails or refer to them when needed – all by a quick search and click. The PDF reader is a standard software factory installed on every piece of computing or mobile platform nowadays.

I really hope that those advices I gave you and my document management system can help you to store all of your papers and photos well-organized also.

© 2018 Andrey V Palagin


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