Prompted by the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and the annual tax preparation process, many people make a commitment to at this time of the year to gather and organize all of their family information.
Prompted by the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions and the annual tax preparation process, many people make a commitment to themselves and their families to gather and organize all of their family information at the start of each year. But, as people realize the sheer magnitude of data and documents they have related to their personal, household, health, financial, and legal affairs, this can quickly become an overwhelming process. Unfortunately, many people abandon the goal to truly get their “Ducks in a Row” and settle for gathering and organizing only the information and documents required to meet the impending tax return deadline.
The stacks and boxes of receipts and documents continue to grow in our home offices, garages, and attics while our vendors and providers are accelerating their transitions to automate processes and transition to digital recordkeeping. This digital transformation is also accelerating the speed of decision making, and we are all expected to be able to produce detailed data and documents at a moment’s notice – those same documents that are piling up in our home offices, garages and attics. Without the benefit of digital access to our own personal information and documents, we are at risk of become analog refugees in a digital world.
The good news is that there are now software solutions in the market including My Data Diary+ that help consumers organize, manage, and digitize all of their personal and family information and documents. All of these family information management tools will require an investment of your time to populate your information and documents. But, once you have made the investment, you will reap the benefits of your investment throughout the year.
To jumpstart your productivity with the use of any family information management tool, we recommend that you start by capturing and digitizing 7 categories of information that you are likely to need frequently and use on a regular basisr
- Personal Information and Vital Documents (ie Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, etc)
- Health insurance information and insurance cards
- Medication and prescription details
- Website logons and passwords
- AutoPay and AutoDeposit details including the bank account / payment card they are linked to
- Care details for the people and pets in your care that you can easily provide to sitters and care poviders
- Emergency contact information
You will soon realize the benefits of having the above information at your fingertips which will keep you motivated on your quest to get the rest of your ducks in a row.
The best way to accomplish your goal to “Get Your Ducks in a Row” is to break your project down into manageable pieces over a reasonable period of time. Capture the information and documents for yourself and your family one topic at a time and celebrate your accomplishments as you go. And, be sure to pat yourself on the back each and every time you save yourself time, frustration, or money because you have the information you need at your fingertips.
With a bit of effort and commitment you can streamline and simplify the business of your life to engage more effectively in today’s digital world. I invite you join me in my crusade to liberate the data!
Darra Wray is a Care Consultant and Certified Senior Advisor with My Care Companions in Boise, Idaho, a company she founded to streamline and simplify the administrative side of care. You can learn more about My Care Companions and the My Data Diary+ family information management software tool at www.mycarecompanions.com.