When you purchase items such as vehicles, appliances, garden equipment or any type of electronics, they come with user’s manuals. Some come in paper form, while others can be accessed online. These manuals are very important to understand the operation and maintenance associated with the purchased product.
Quick and easy access is a must when you need information about the item. There are different schools of thought on how to organize user’s manuals. As with anything in life, what works for one doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for everyone. Think about the different options listed here, and decide which idea, or combination of ideas will work best for you.
You may be wondering why I’m suggesting that a combination of ideas may work better for you. In the past when I’ve talked about the first step of the organizing process, which is putting like items together, this concept typically is the way you should organize your user’s manuals. I still agree with the concept of putting like items together, but possibly in different physical locations.
For example, all the manuals for the equipment I use outdoors is in a plastic folder on a shelf in my garage. Another example is, the manuals for my tv, dvd player and cable tv are all together in the cabinet where my tv lives. So, the concept of keeping like items together holds true, but in different physical locations. All other manuals that I don’t access frequently, are stored in hanging folders in my filing cabinet.
Check out the list below for options and tips for organizing your user’s manuals. If you have others not listed here, feel free to share them in the comments box below the article.
Tips for organizing user’s manuals
- Store manuals where you use the item for quick and easy access. This makes sense for vehicle manuals as most people store them in their glovebox.
- Store paper user’s manuals in a hanging folder in your filing tote or cabinet. Use dividers in the folder for categories such as, appliances, outdoors, electronics, etc.
- Alternatively, you can store digital manuals, and/or links to websites for digital manuals using the same categories that you use for paper manuals, for consistency. Evernote is an app that works great for storing and organizing files of all types, paper and electronic and you will have access to them anywhere at any time via smartphone.
- Attach the receipt, and mark the date of purchase & model number on the front for ease in troubleshooting.
- When you replace the item, recycle the old user’s manual.
- Keep all user’s manuals that belong to the home in a folder together and place the folder on the kitchen counter when you move out after the sale of the house.