Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
NAPO 2010 Conference Expo Recap #3: Keep Your Data (and Not Your Head) in the Clouds
In the last two weeks, we discussed some of the stars of the NAPO 2010 Expo, both for gathering and safekeeping paper files and for improving filing productivity. Today, we'll go a little higher tech and explore some new digital offerings just introduced.
LeeLogic has created two suites of digital applications to keep information organized "in the cloud", meaning that data is stored and manipulated in a web-based (rather than software-based) environment, working equally well on PCs and Macs. MobilLogic is for business use and StuffLogic organizes personal data.
MobilLogic's digital indexing and storage system creates a hierarchy of information based on how businesses already categorize. It was designed by a professional organizer to make electronic files, scans, links and other digital information, as well as hard copy information, accessible and retrievable via one simplified, searchable web-based system.
MobilLogic uses a standardized numeric filing system with keyword-based identification. New files are assigned a number/name, but users also get to select keywords that will best help them quickly search for and retrieve the exact item...and learn its location. When in search mode, the system even highlights keywords to ease identification, and users can save searches to provide one-click access in the future -- that's great for when you have a file you need just infrequently enough that you might have had to take a few stabs to recall your keywords.
Many businesses use both digital and paper documents, so MobilLogic works with both -- you don't have to scan or upload everything in order to know where things are. Users can select which files to upload into the system, but because the information about each file is documented (even if it's not living on the MobilLogic server), you can still click-through MobilLogic directly to the electronic file, whether it's housed on your computer, your company's network, or living as a web-based file. For non-digital documents, the system will identify locations based on what you've previously told it. (So don't move stuff without telling the system!)
Because MobilLogic is web-based, users can access the system and search, view, revise or add from anywhere. The system has user-level security, from departmental to individual, ensuring that everyone who needs (and has a right) to access material can do so. It's even HIPAA compliant.
So, some departments or employees can have full admittance, but you can restrict access to others who lack the James Bond-esque, eyes-only, need-to-know clearance. The security protocols and cloud-based system, combined with four-times-daily backups of MobilLogic's multiple server locations, mean that companies need not worry about disgruntled former employees wreaking havoc, computer crashes destroying the system or the inability of new employees to access a former employee's essential files. Because backups can be set for various retention periods, you can restore data from last week, or hit reset to time travel to anywhere up to when you first began using the system.
MobilLogic doesn't just organize information for storage and retrieval. You can set up email reminders and text alerts associated with individual document-related tasks or deadlines, so nothing falls through the cracks.
MobilLogic has a one-time $25 set up fee, plus a $25/month/license fee, up to four users, with discounted monthly fees the more concurrent user licenses you add. If only three people need access most of the time, but you have a virtual assistant or part-time employee who needs access certain days per month (or quarter, or whatever), you only pay for the number of people using the system at any given time, and you can change the number of licenses you're using -- up to once per day.
StuffLogic operates just like MobilLogic, keeping track of personal files and possessions (digital and hard copy), from electronic files and bookmarks, to magazines, hobby material and those boxes of memorabilia in the hall closet. Just as with the business version, you can set email or text reminders based on tasks or deadlines related to the stuff you've "filed" and might later want to access. It's priced at $20/month for a single license fee, or $25/month/concurrent licenses for the Premium plan, which includes additional security and administrative features.
CareBinders is a personal recordkeeping software package -- the digital equivalent of the boxing-it-up method we discussed two weeks ago to collect and track the data for all elements of your life. For each category, the software has specially-created screens to trigger your recall and help you identify exactly what data you need to store. Input information directly, import it from other programs, or scan and attach photos and digital versions of vital documents. For example:
Financial--Account numbers and data for banks, credit cards, brokerage houses, and insurance policies; Descriptions/photographs/videos of tangible assets and financial assets; Contracts and other legal documents; Inventories of valuable collections; Data regarding subscriptions and ongoing payment plans.
The system can then generate a data locator report, which aggregates all the information you've input into the CareBinders system (with or without the dollar valuations) so that you can safekeep a copy for loved ones, in case anything happens to you, or place in your safe deposit box to use in case of theft or disaster in your home.
Medical--The system prompts you to report every medical detail, including allergies, diagnoses and medical/prescription histories, medical practitioner contact information and dates/notes from doctor visits, test results, and more.
Personal--In one sitting, you can enter all the vital details of your life, so you (or someone acting on your behalf) can gather information necessary on everything about you: Educational and employment history; contact information for residential service providers (like that guy who stopped the heat pump from making that scary noise that one time), pet information, groups and affiliations, volunteer projects, passwords, all your personal contacts (including how you know them and from where), awards and achievements, etc.
Fun--CareBinders has special modules to keep track of whatever you collect or want to remember and track, whether it's tangible items like baseball cards, DVDs, wine or stamps, or plans for or memorabilia from wedding, parties, vacations or holidays.
Once you've entered all of your data (and reminded yourself to create updates on a regular basis), the CareBinders system works in a few ways. First, it lets you get everything out of your head and into the system, so you can stop wracking your brain to remember a company's or contact's exact name, or where you put the new insurance policy.
Second, once you enter something, the CareBinders system populates other screens with the data you need, so you don't have to enter the same darned information over and over on multiple screens. Once you've told the system something, it knows where to put that data in other files or documents. So, if your family moves, you don't have to enter the new address for the records for yourself AND your spouse AND Jimmy, Johnny, Jessica and Janine (whoever those kids are)...unless you aren't all moving to the same place.
Third, the system saves the data you enter and manipulates it to create new documents, in addition to the document locator, like a:
--Medical Intake Form you can bring to a doctor's visit so you (or someone helping you) can fill in everything from blood type to insurance IDs to medical history)
--Asset/Inventory lists to help your insurance salesperson or claims adjuster complete your paperwork more quickly
--Emergency medical wallet card
--Pet profile, with demographic data and an immunization and medical history
--"Grab & Go" reports you'll need if there's a natural disaster and you must leave home quickly
A CareBinders Master license runs $199 for downloadable software. For $5 more, you get the download and a program CD, suitable for gifting. CareBinders offers volume discounts ranging from 15% for purchases of 4-5 copies, up to 35% discounts for large volume purchases.
LegacyIt provides a digital opportunity to collect the elements of your life history in a simple, fun, interactive way. While LeeLogic's suites are designed to keep your data easily organized and retrievable from the cloud, and CareBinders keeps your digital information safe and organized for practical reasons, LegacyIt is all about preserving the impractical...the sentimental...the ineffable qualities that make you who you are. Instead of tracking the data of your life: the numbers, the assets, the diagnoses - LegacyIt helps you gather the meaningful experiences of your life to share with others.
LegacyIt involves three steps:
1) Preserve your legacy by digitizing and preserving your memories in one collective space. Once you set up your account and download Microsoft Silverlight (at no cost), you can upload your existing digital photos and scan your traditional photos (or negatives) to make them ready for uploading.
If you haven't yet, or only recently, upgraded to digital photos and can't bear the thought of scanning forty or fifty (or 90!) years of your life in photographs, LegacyIt has partnered with Digital Pickle, a photo and video restoration service. Ship them your shoeboxes of personal archives, and they'll scan your photos, slides, or negatives for you.
2) Build your legacy in two ways:
First, organize your photos by category -- for example, you can create an event and gather together all of the photos and commentary about a particular family vacation.
Second, record the detailed history behind each photo, using LegacyIt's audio, video and text features. For example, you can use text to tell the story on the "reverse" side of any digital photo, so it's just like when people used to write on the backs of their snapshots (before we all knew that was bad for the photographs). Or, use the audio or video features to share the anecdotes related to the pictures. You might get creative and let others, like grandchildren or old friends, interview you so that the story has a more conversational feel.
3) Share your legacy in a secure environment and create Legacy Trees, which grant permission to individuals to view what you've created. LegacyIt has taken on many of the qualities of popular social networking sites to create privacy settings so that you can share (or restrict) access to individual photos and stories. You select who gets to see and hear which elements of your legacy...so that if you only want one grandchild to know that she's your favorite, you can do it!
Create public and private "sharing galleries" of photos, write journal entries and guide others to share their own legacy stories. LegacyIt has a module to design your bucket list, identifying all the things you'd like to achieve in your lifetime, and then you can add photos of these accomplishments as you attain them. LegacyIt even gives a nod to the other, more practical, data organization systems with a secure place to store personal and financial data, passwords and other vital information.
LegacyIt has four pricing plans, with monthly fees ranging from $5-$25/month and 16-20% discounts for annual, rather than monthly, billing. Every plan includes access to all photo, audio, video and text features and enhanced security, but pricing determines how number of users per account and the amount of storage granted. The Basic plan allows only two users, the Deluxe allows three and the Premium and Premium Plus package allows up to five users; at the Basic level, accounts gets 2 GB of storage, while Deluxe plans get 5 GB, Premium 10 GB and Premium Plus plans include 20 GB of storage.
LegacyIt is an intriguing blend of social networking and digital memorabilia storage. For families with plethora of history but a dearth of technological know-how, this all-inclusive training-wheels approach can be a boon. However, as with all cloud computing options, Paper Doll is concerned regarding what happens long-term. If you help Grandma upload photos and record a detailed history, can your family afford to keep paying the fees in perpetuity? LegacyIt says you can cancel your membership at any time, but suggests retrieving your data within 60 days. Long term, it would be wise to appoint a tech-savvy family member as family archivist and account beneficiary, to oversee the process and truly maintain your legacy.
posted on: 5/18/2010 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
by Julie Bestry
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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.
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