Five tips for digital record keeping.

Get rid of the piles of documents at your home or office. Learn handy tips on how to get started on digital record keeping.

Every individual, household, and business needs to hold on to important paperwork, like tax forms, invoices, and other documents. Digitizing your paperwork into handy PDF documents keeps them safe and easily accessible. But without proper organization, even a digital archive can get messy.

Here are five good tips for organized digital record keeping.

Scan every document.

If you choose to digitize your documents, scan them all into PDFs. You can certainly hold on to your original copies, but if you have a scan of every document, it’s easier to stay organized later. If you don’t have a scanner, don’t worry — a good mobile scanner app can digitize your papers quickly and easily.

Keep related documents together to ensure you can find them quickly when you need them. If you accidentally scanned unrelated documents into one file, split them into separate PDFs. Then, you can save them in appropriate folders or combine them with other PDFs.

Name your files carefully.

What does a document named “Scan82” contain? You can’t know without opening it. Give all your documents a simple and straightforward name that describes their contents and date, like “PayChecks_Linda_2022.”

Make your files easy to read.

Sometimes scanners mess up pages — like by turning them upside down. It won’t matter when you print, but it will make the document harder to read on a screen. Easy-to-use online tools that reorganize or rotate PDF pages can correct these quirks in just a few clicks

Back up everything.

Always store your documents in at least two places, both on a local hard drive and an online file storage platform. This way, you won’t lose your files if your computer breaks or you lose internet access. As a bonus, you can access your online file storage from anywhere.

These tips will get you started on digital record keeping. Now, just pull out your papers and start securing your documents.