Digitise Your Old Paper Manuals To Reduce Clutter

Digitise Your Old Paper Manuals To Reduce Clutter

These days, most manufacturers make product manuals available on their websites, so there’s little reason to keep one unless it’s really old or for a discontinued product. We’ve discussed how to use Google and Amazon to find your electronics manuals, but you can take it an extra step by finding those manuals online, downloading them and then adding them to your preferred ereader or ebook library. That way you can trash the paper, knowing you’ll never lose a copy.

A few well-written Google searches will almost always turn up your old owner’s manual in PDF form, just search for the product’s name or model number along with “owners manual” or “product manual” in quotes, and you’ll likely find it. Download the PDF and it’s yours forever. The folks at Apartment Therapy took the idea a step further, and added their downloaded PDFs to Apple iBooks, so they store and back up their manuals using iCloud, make categories specifically for manuals and read them on an iPad while making repairs or reassembling a piece of furniture.

The same idea applies even if you’re not an iPad or iTunes user. Most ereaders, including the Kindle Cloud Reader allows you to keep your books synced away from your computer, and the send to Kindle app makes it easy to upload them. You could even drop your manuals in a Dropbox folder, access it from any device, and call it a day, although the organisation of an ereader is a nice bonus. How do you manage your old owner’s manuals? Do you hang on to the paper and keep it in a file cabinet somewhere, scan them yourself, or just download them when you need them? Let’s hear it in the comments.

Declutter by Turning Owners Manuals into iPad “Books” [Apartment Therapy]


  • I created a manuals folder in Evernote and put the PDF Manuals there. Evernote will also OCR any scanned manuals so I can still search on keywords hidden in the images.

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