If you own a computer (and there are a handful of you who don’t own one these days!), you need this productivity hack. Because if you own a computer, you have stuff. You have software and disks and cords and licenses and maintenance agreements. You have computer stuff. And if you have more than one computer, you have even more stuff. If you have email and programs and license keys and activation codes and purchase documents, how are you going to get to that stuff if your computer crashes.
Scratch that. WHEN your computer crashes…
Because it’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.
And don’t try that old, “You should get a Mac and then you wouldn’t have problems,” BS with me. You know it’s not true.
A computer binder is arguably more necessary in a small business, but useful for your home computers, too.
If you have computer stuff, you have two options. You can throw it on the desk and pretend that you’ll never need it again. Or you can create a computer binder and be prepared for WHEN your computer crashes.
My computer expert tells me he wishes every client had a binder like I’m about to show you how to make.
Step 1 for how to make a computer binder.
Gather all of your computer-related documents and disks and other paraphernalia together. Activation keys and license codes are especially important. Don’t just save them in some email folder that you may have trouble getting to when you need them most.
Step 2 for how to make a computer binder.
Gather some simple supplies. I like to use a 1 or 2 inch binder. Some regular plastic page protectors. And I like to have some divided pocket page protectors for disks and cords. Divider tabs are a must. Decorative tape is completely optional, but always fun.
Step 3 for how to make a computer binder.
Separate all of your computer program instructions/information with tabs and – this is very, very important – label the binder and store on a shelf. That last part is the key, so you can actually get to the binder when your tech guy says, hey, do you have the master password/activation code/license for this whatsywhositz?
Also, go into your email programs or wherever you might have filed purchase and license information for important software, and print it off. Yes, I know, we’re supposed to be paperless, but what would you rather do if you have to troubleshoot your computer…fuss with alternate log ins for places where you think you might have possibly filed some important records, or would you rather just reach behind you on a shelf to retrieve a well-filed license key that proves you have the right to re-install software…and maybe has the tech support number printed handily as well? I thought so.
How long should it take to organize a computer and software binder?
For many people, just finding all the stuff that should have gone into a computer binder in the first place is the time consuming part. But you don’t have to wait to find everything to START your binder. Go ahead and start today. Then, as you are organizing the piles in your office, you’ll have a place to put all of those random computer artifacts when you find them. Once you have your binder in hand, it should take you about 30 minutes to at least get a computer binder mostly, if not completely, all done.
Organizing a computer binder is inexpensive, ridiculously easy, personally gratifying, and inevitably useful.
Will you give a shout out in the comments below if you make a new computer binder for yourself? I’d love to know about it.