Digitization of Personal Information

by Krishna on March 20, 2006

Productivity trends in industry have been rising at a rapid pace in recent times. A look at the manufacturing industry will show (and this is no great insight) that millions of jobs have been lost as productivity has inched upwards. Other factors including outsourcing contribute, but the fact remains that factories have used more automation and better tools to reduce manual work and improve the productivity of workers.

If it can be done at work, it could also be done in our personal lives. People are doing it all the time — improving our productivity at home by using tools and automated items. Just walk around a modern kitchen or bathroom and you will see what I mean.

Here are 5 quick tips on using digitization of personal information to reduce clutter in your life and make it better. Chances are that since you are reading this post, you are familiar with this and are already doing most of the items.

  1. Type in all your contact information into a digital Address book, such as in Outlook or online like Yahoo Address Book. You can do both and synchronize them. In addition, you can buy a handheld (Palm, PocketPC) and synchronize the contacts in it with Outlook. Keeping multiple copies (desktop, online & handheld) helps in easy access and redundant backups, and synchronizing them keeps them all up to date.
  2. You may have an address book in your phone. Try upgrading to a Palm-based or PocketPC-based phone so that you can keep it synched with your contact information. If that is not possible, keep your phone address book lean and manually synchronize your address information.
  3. Scan information that you are keeping around in folders. This includes important documents and newspaper clippings. Throw away stuff that you don’t want. Store the important documents in a fire-proof safe. There may be small pieces of information lying around in Post-it Notes or plain paper. Type them in and discard the paper.
  4. Look up your old photo prints and negatives and scan them into your system. This may be a big undertaking since you may have hundreds or thousands of photos lying around. Do a little each week and make progress. Write your scanned images into a CD for backup.
  5. Move your music from CD and audio cassettes into MP3’s or into an iPod. The new iPod has video too. This keeps all your entertainment centralized and easy to access. Buy a storage box and dump all your old CDs, tapes and cassettes in it.

If you have any more ideas regarding digitization, please share them with me.

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