Given that manufacturers generally make newer manuals available online and there are online communities dedicated to fill in the gaps for companies that don’t, storing actual paper manuals often seems like a waste of time. But can you actually make the leap to throwing them out?
Picture by Amit Gupta
On the blog for document organisation site Niggle It, founder Chris Williamson talks about how "liberating" it is not to have to file away a manual into a drawer or folder where it may never get accessed again. Unsurprisingly, Williamson uses his own software to store electronic copies of the manual, but you could also keep them on your hard drive or in a Dropbox folder or even on a separate USB key.
Paper manuals can have their uses, of course. I was impressed with a motel I stayed in over the weekend which actually included the manual for the television in the compendium of room information -- useful for working out how to switch between digital and Austar channels and for using the other built-in features on a non-familiar device. And online manual repositories don't always do a good job with Australia-specific products, or electronic goods which are rebranded and sold by multiple manufacturers.
So I'm wondering: have you ditched your paper manuals? And if you have, what's your tactic for keeping their electronic substitutes organised? Tell us in the comments?
Where is the manual for that? [Niggle It Blog]