Organizing Documents

Digitized documents must be organized to make them useful and accessible. Note that organizing documents may be different than organizing photos. Also recognize that there are different types of files that require different types of organization. Normally documents can be classified as either general documents or dated documents.

  • General Documents: These documents are organized into categories and can include birth certificates, property deeds, business documents such as articles of incorporation, educational transcripts, certificates, etc.
  • Dated Documents: Dated documents can include tax records, receipts, annual forms, health care claims, annual valuation notices, correspondence, etc.

Begin the organization by creating a single folder to contain all of the documents and folders. With a single folder you can easily backup all of the information with a simple Copy and Paste operation. This one folder will contain all of your General and Dated documents.

Start by inventory of your documents and formulating a plan for converting and organizing. Organizing is a large job composed of many small tasks. Documents to organize include:

  • Tax & financial records
  • Receipts
  • Letters & correspondence
  • Notes

Organization details vary but here is a sample folder structure:

Directory Subdirectories Description
c:/records /1980-1989 /1980 /healthcare
Statements, receipts, etc.
General receipts stored by date
Tax documents and forms

Each year contains subfolders to
organize the specific documents.
/AbcInc /assets
Info related to business assets
Company docs, licenses, etc.
Company minutes by date

The basic folder structure is normally replicated for each year. To make the process easier you can create a _template folder that contains all of the subfolders. When organizing the files you can then copy the _template folder and paste it into the year folder. You can then move the scanned documents into the folders. The underscore character in _template causes the folder to appear before the other folders that start with letters or numbers.