Keeping documentation

Your new computer, or software, often comes with a large amount of documentation.  Many different licenses, manuals, and other documents, which usually do not mean very much to you.  However, these are all important, and need to be kept where they can easily be found. 

  • Hardware lists, schematics, and user manuals.
  • Software licenses, and user manuals. 
  • Update and upgrade notices.
  • Product keys. and licenses. 
  • Etc.

Many times, I have worked with customers, where a piece of hardware needed to be reconfigured, or an additional option needed to be turned on.  While we have the documentation here for a large number of products, we do not have documentation for everything on the market.  Often the same model of equipment, will be different with different version numbers.  You may have printer XXX, version C, and we have a manual here for version D.  They way that your version C printer is configured for communications, for example, may be different than the way the version D is.  So the manual that we have is of no use. 

I am happy to work with you, but if you do not have the manuals that are specific to your printer (or, do not know where they are) in this case, then I have to try to find them on-line.  Usually, they can be found, but it may take anywhere from a couple of minutes, to an hour or more.

What I suggest, is that a binder, or filing box, or a section of your filing cabinet, be setup for each computer and software package that you have.  It should be clearly marked for each computer, or software package,  Every piece of documentation should be kept in it.  If every manual, product notice, license key, etc., for that computer or package is filed, then in the future it can be found if it is needed. 

If you use a binder, or filing box, then it should be kept in one of two places.  Either right with the computer, or in a centralized location, along with the documentation for every other computer (or software package) is kept.  This way, you can find all of the relevant information in a minute or two, should the need arise.

Many times, I have asked a customer if they have their manual for a piece of hardware, and have been told that they will have to look for it.  Sometimes, it turns up in a few minutes, or a few hours, and other times it can not be found.  This can delay a change that should take a few minutes, into several hours, or even days.

Your documentation may not be needed for months, or years.  It may never be needed at all.  However, if you do need it at some point, having it all in one place.  Knowing where it is, will make everything go much smoother.

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