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I'm trying to find the best way of managing all the papers that comes with major appliances, such as warranties, receipts and user manuals.

I like using a lot of different tools in my repairs and DIY projects, that's why I really need to keep track of all of them. Until now, I've been using a classic 3-ring binder, but this takes space and frankly isn't that easy to use when you are looking for a specific document. That's why several weeks ago I decided to go paperless and I tried to find some alternatives.

I started using Evernote, it's really useful to storage all the documentation. However, it's not specifically for products and tends to end up a bit messy. I've recently tried Unioncy that automatically creates a catalog of your products from the information in your receipts, backs up a copy of the original one, stores the users manual of the product and also track each product warranty.

How do you currently manage the documentation of your appliances? Have you ever tried one of these paperless systems? Do you know any other paperless alternative?

Thanks!
 

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I place all manuals(appliances, leaf blowers, mowers, kids toys, phone answering system, TVs, hair clipper etc.) in a storgae tote and keep it in basement.
 

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I use Google Drive for everything like this. How you organize it is entirely up to you and how it works for you (naming conventions, folders, spreadsheets vs documents , etc). I know people swear by Evernote but I can't seem to find its usefulness over more broad methods of data organization.
 

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I put each appliance info in a separate freezer bag, then drop them in a hanging folder. If you don't have a file cabinet - Joecaption has a good link.

I also keep a separate E-folder for electronic copies - backed up regularly.
 

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I keep paper copies in a file folder but I rarely reference it. I take pics of the receipts and turn them into PDFs. Using a freeware app, I merge the manual PDF with the receipt PDFs and store them on my PC.
 

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I scan every manual to a pdf file and keep them on my computer's hard drive, plus a weekly backup to an external USB hard drive or DVD.
I also keep model number and purchase, repair, and other info in an Access database.
I also keep the original printed manuals in a special drawer in the kitchen or in a bookcase.

FW
 

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I like to keep all my operation manuals for house specific stuff in a Delta kitchen faucet box. I label the house on it. Typically there will be a owners manuals for:

Water heater
Furnace/AC
Water Softener
Refrigerator
Microwave/exhaust
Range
Dishwasher
Garage door operator

It ends up being quite a stack of manuals. I try to write the dates on them. This gives me a way to go back and find the receipt for them, because those are all in chrono files.

If a guy is really on top of his game, he will make a photocopy of the receipt and keep it with the owners manual. This way, the thermal paper receipt will not be worthless as it fades away, and you won't have to search through your chrono file.

I've had some lifetime warranties on ceiling fans pay off. The people who offer the warranties are betting on a few things:

You won't keep your receipt.
Your thermal paper receipt will fade to nothing.
You won't be able to find your receipt.
You won't be in the same house 3 years from now.
 

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I toss them in a drawer.
other than warranty stuff (receipts), online documentation is more up to date than anything printed.

also packing slip envelopes stuck to a side that doesn't show is a great idea. keeps all the needed items with the actual item.
 

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I've got them in an old fashioned file cabinet......tried and true
 

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I toss them in a drawer.
other than warranty stuff (receipts), online documentation is more up to date than anything printed.

also packing slip envelopes stuck to a side that doesn't show is a great idea. keeps all the needed items with the actual item.
Yeah, in this day and age keeping manuals is almost silly, since they can all be found online. Receipts for stuff you have a warranty on, however.... definitely good to keep track of.
 

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Yeah, in this day and age keeping manuals is almost silly, since they can all be found online. Receipts for stuff you have a warranty on, however.... definitely good to keep track of.
That may be true for current appliances, but what about older ones (that fortunately still work). Try finding older manuals online, and sometimes when you do, there is a fee.

FW
 

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That may be true for current appliances, but what about older ones (that fortunately still work). Try finding older manuals online, and sometimes when you do, there is a fee.

FW
Oh yes, I meant moving forward. chances are, if you have an older appliance and still have the manual... well, you obviously have had a system set up for quite some time to keep that manual, eh? ;)
 

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Thank you all for sharing your storage methods! It's really interesting to see that most of you are starting to go paperless. I think it's a great way to get organized and manage everything easily.
The thing is that I need to find a tool/web site/software/app that not only stores all these papers, but also keep track of them. I would like to know if any of you had ever used Unioncy (link removed by mod) to manage all these documents. Or you could maybe recommend some other sites that could help me go paperless! Your opinions/experiences will help me decide! Anyone around here to help?
 

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I agree there are a lot of good sites out there that can help you organize paperlessly. You can google it, read some reviews and find some really good ones. Some are free, some charge a fee. IMO, you could keep track and organize them yourself, just the way you want, alphabetically, numerically or whatever. You could scan your documents/manuals/whatever and store them as pdf files on your personal computer/tab/laptop or my favorite, usb data storage sticks.

Most printers today are all in ones, great technology and less expensive than years ago or you can buy just a scanner for around 50 dollars. The least expensive work just as good as the expensive ones. They all do the same thing. Any of the big box stores sell them. Just a thought.

A lot of great ideas are posted here. Maybe a little trial and error or combination of systems. Everyone has their own system which works best for them. In the end, it's all about what will work best for you.
 

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I keep it all in a filing cabinet. To me, it's easier than looking for it online or in a file on my computer. Keep it simple.
 

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If you scan your manuals to .pdf, you can then create a document in a word-type program (OpenOffice writer, or Libre Writer for Linux) that can use hyperlinks. Create a table of contents that lists all of the manuals you have as pdf documents. Create hyperlinks in that table pointing to the pdf files for each manual. When you click on the hyperlink in the table, the pdf opens.
It may sound more complex than it is - this is really very simple.

FW
 

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I trash all that stuff as soon as I get it. Saves me a lot of space. Real men don't need no stinkin' directions. And even If I tried to store it, I would never find it again anyways:)
 

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I trash all that stuff as soon as I get it. Saves me a lot of space. Real men don't need no stinkin' directions. And even If I tried to store it, I would never find it again anyways:)
You have a point. I rarely refer to the manual once I have set up the appliance. Some are worth saving though. Snow Thrower, Generator - I may need to refer to them when I have to do work on them someday. But for appliances like a refrigerator - I have never read the manual. For the washer, if I need parts, I just go to Sears Parts Direct and look them up by model number. The manuals are pretty much useless these days. I guess I like to scan stuff, so I do it.

FW
 

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Manuals, warranty information you can always get from the manufacturer website. Most places like Lowe's, etc., now allow you to store the purchase through a personal account, such as how the "My Lowe's" works.

I usually will place the receipts in a basket that we keep them in, along with the master discs for my laptop.

I have thought about scanning them into a folder on my cloud space, and my NAS. But after dealing with document management for three years, I realized that it was more pointless, than a necessity.
 
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