Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How online document storage can save you lots of frustration

By Newson Mukono

Had you ever travelled away from home and realised you forgot some very important documents? You may be at work and find out you urgently needed a copy of your identity documents or certificates yet they are far from your reach or you forgot them at home. Sometimes you end up making an unexpected journey to get those documents or sometimes lose out on an opportunity completely. Technology can actually save you from such a mess by doing a very simple thing.

I have learnt to keep online soft copies of all my important documents. Wherever I am, if I need to present my National ID, Passport, certificates, birth certificates or other important documents; I simply find internet connection, access and print or forward them wherever they are needed.

There are plenty of free document storage services online, depending on the sensitivity of your documents. Most popular is Google Drive formerly Google Docs which gives up to 15GB of free storage with an option to pay for more space if you need it. Other popular document storage facilities include box.net and Drop Box. These document storage facilities allow you to store and or create documents online.

If you don’t want to use any of these document storage services, Compose an email and attach all your important documents and send to one of your email addresses that you can access over the internet.  Give the email a unique subject for easy searching, e.g. “My Important Documents.” Retrieving these documents will be just a matter of opening your Inbox and searching for an email with the email subject you specified.

Online copies of your documents are safer since they are less prone to fire and other physical risks like theft. If your physical academic certificates are stolen, you can actually continue to apply for jobs using your online copies whilst you sort out replacing your physical certificates. Just like a backup, it never makes sense till the day of disaster! It's better to be safe than sorry!

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