Never Hunt for a Manual Again

manual | | Back Up & Storage, Quick Tips

I used to throw the paper manual in a file folder full of instruction manuals whenever I bought something new. Yes, call me a pack-rat. This thing grew so full that the manuals started looking like they were not in a file folder anymore.

I went through it one day and realized there were several manuals in there where the product had long since went to a better place. This system had failed. Now when I get a product, I check the manufactures website for a pdf of the manual and save it into a SmartFile folder just for manuals.

As an added bonus, I can drool over the accessories on their website that would be awesome to have with my new product. If the manual isn’t available on the manufactures website or a disk that came with the product, you can scan the manual that came with the product. There are some awesome devices that scan directory to SmartFile.

In a recent example of this, I ordered a product online and saved the manual off the retailer’s website directly to my SmartFile account. When I got the product, I had a question about installing the lock. I sent Ryan Jr to find the manual in the box. He didn’t find it. I just told him, “Don’t worry, I have the pdf manual here.” Even though it turns out the manual didn’t have the answer to my lock question, my new manual storage system has passed the test.

Bonus Tips:

  • Tag all my manuals with a “manual” tag to find them later.
  • If you really want to make life easy, create a link to your manual in SmartFile. Right click and save the QR Code. Then print the QR code on a sticker. You can place this sticker on the product so you just have to scan the QR code to pull up the manual.
  • Create an “archive” folder inside your manuals folder to put manuals for products you no longer have; yet, you insist on keeping if you are a pack-rat like me.
  • Recycle the paper manual that came with your product for bonus green points.
  • Use loss-less compression on the pdf file because it is usually way larger than it needs to be. This applies to scanned documents and manuals downloaded from the internet.
  • When something breaks and you are searching for parts, you might find the manual or parts lists. Go ahead and throw those in your manual archive too.

Ryan Johnston

As an Interactive Web Engineer at SmartFile, I mostly work with JavaScript and a little Python. Since we "eat our own dog food" here, I have quite a bit of experience using the SmartFile API that powers the User Interface in the SmartFile Web Application.

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