View Full Version : filing owner manuals
06-23-2007, 11:15 PM
any suggestions on how to best file owner manuals?
as an example, I have owner manuals for my microwave, wok, griller, blender etc. Should I file these individually with individual folders or in one big folder labelled "home appliances"? also, what about other owner manuals that are seperate to any group like say my home phone manual?
06-24-2007, 02:27 AM
I've got one large box labelled Manuals. I find it's not very often I need to refer to it, so it doesn't really matter that everything is just dumped in it, and I have to rifle through the lot when I want a particular one.
06-24-2007, 05:08 AM
I find that, with a bit of searching, most manuals can be found online in PDF form. They take up zero space, and they're searchable. I then file the manuals for items I may sell one day (cameras, appliances, etc) in a box in my office, and toss the rest.
I just put them into my normal filing system as "Manual - Name of appliance/gadget/etc. That way, whatever manual I'm looking for, as long as I know it's name, I know where to find the manual.
06-24-2007, 10:38 AM
I have a box for manuals,inside each manual is in a folder with all their support materials. If I need to look for one they are alphasort and a breze to find.
06-24-2007, 03:21 PM
I think I'mma go with apinaud's method :)
06-24-2007, 04:53 PM
I store manuals in folders, in my main reference file. The folders give a standard size to the items in the box, so I don't have manuals folding over each other.
Loose-leaf manuals get punched and bound, larger manuals just float loose inside the folder. Again, the folder is there to provide clear physical and logical separation between manuals (or sets of manuals), and the warranty/extended service card, quick start guides etc all go in that folder with the manual.
The file is labelled by the manufacturer and model name of the product, since it's not just manuals in the folder - I have warranty information, service history, and sometimes spare parts (o-rings for plumbed items, spare membranes for some touch panels, mounting screws for micro-stereo systems). Larger items (such as wall mounting brackets for my micro-stereo and spare hoses for my washing machine) are placed in suitable boxes in my storage unit, with a note in the file indicating where I've stowed the components.
06-25-2007, 03:46 AM
Many excellent tips on filing owner's manuals already posted.
I would like to share how I did it after I started using GTD.
1- Gathered ALL owner's manual in one place -- except for computer and software which have their special folder(s).
2- Sorted those in two categories according to the size of the paper (SMALL FORMAT i.e. smaller than letter size and LARGE FORMAT i.e. letter size or larger), and tossed each category in a box (with label on outside :D).
3- I keep these two boxes in relatively accessible places.
Note: I would NOTinclude in these boxes ANY other items (receipts, warranties, accessories, etc...) which might come with a new appliance. Those go in separate places.
Using this system for almost a year now I found:
- Filing user's manuals has been a joke.
- Retreiving them has been very quick. I might create a list of each box's content (sorted by alpha or other useful way), but this has not been needed so far!
Hope this helps and will be glad to hear comments or questions.
06-25-2007, 06:14 AM
I used to keep all manuals together in a single folder, but that became a mess. I decided to create a separate section in my filing cabinet behind my general reference filing system for manuals. Each manual in it's own folder along with the receipt and any other relevant paperwork. Of course the product name is the folder title and they are alpha sorted. Now I can actually find these when needed and it is a great convenience when I need to look something up like how to get my digital camera to take a movie or whatever.
I like to keep a separate section within my manuals file for appliances. This is because whenever I move, all of these manuals have to transfer to the new resident and it is convenient to just keep them all together. These are things like: furnace, stove, air conditioner, water heater, dishwasher, built-in microwave, water filter, etc.
I may remove the manuals section to a filing crate if necessary, but for now this is working fine.
06-25-2007, 10:38 AM
Lot's of good suggestions here. I do it a very different way that works for me. I used to put them in one big file, but then couldn't distinguish between, for example, the lists of repair locations as far as which product they were for since they had no label on them. When I sold a camper, I had all the booklets and warranty information for everything in the same folder and didn't think about it when I gave the folder to the new buyer. They got the owners manuals for equipment we took with us.
Now,for each major category of owners manuals I set up a binder. [Examples: stereo equipment, major appliances that stay with the house, appliances & equipment that go with me, one for each computer, etc.) I put a large quantity of top loading sheet protectors in each notebook. Then as I'm filing or when I buy a new item, I can slide all the paperwork associated with it into the sheet protector. What I particularly like is that the sheet protectors accommodate odd sizes, diskettes, CDs, booklets, odd pieces of equipment. Receipts can also go in here. By having many extra empty sheet protectors in the binder, there is no barrier to filing. Open the notebook and slide the manuals into the first empty slot.
Label the spine of the binder and keep it where it makes sense to you. For me, the stereo equipment notebook is in the cabinet with the equipment, the computer binder is near the computer, etc.
06-25-2007, 02:31 PM
I store them in clear plastic sheet protectors in 3-ring binders organized alphabetically. (This was in my Pre-GTD days). It is still extremely effective. The sheet protectors make it easy to deal with all the different form factors.
06-25-2007, 02:59 PM
I recommend starting simple: A single folder labeled "manuals," containing them all. If it gets too big (and you *do* know about the folding trick, right? see Five secret filing hacks from the masters (http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2007/03/five-secret-filing-hacks-from-masters.html)) you can either subdivide the folder into separate categories, e.g.,
Manuals - Appliances
Manuals - Tools
But first try getting some expanding file jackets - they go up to 1 1/2" to 2" (find them along with others at Basic Processing Tools for Personal Productivity/Workflow (http://tinyurl.com/3d6tfw)).