Everywhere you look today, brokerages are trying to make the transition to electronic document storage. Data storage companies are happy to help you spend your hard earned money on their various solutions. Complete systems to handle the task range from just under $10,000 to well over $40,000, depending on the amount of storage you intend to use, whether you intend to store on-site or off-site, the hardware you purchase, and many other options. Starts making the old manila files look good doesn’t it?
What if I told you that you could easily store all your documents electronically and for free? What if I told you that you won’t have to purchase any hardware? Okay, what if I told you that your documents would be stored in one of the most secure data centers on planet earth? And what if I told you that you could do it all by yourself? I know… you’d think I was mad! That I was crazy. But I’m not.
Are you ready for the big secret? Can you handle it? Okay…. drum roll, please. The answer is Gmail by Google. What? You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s right. Gmail. I fax my documents first to my free efax account (using Faxaway.com) where it converts them to PDF files and emails them back to me. I then forward the documents to my dedicated Gmail account. Because of the number of files I save, I open a new account for each year, and the only things I save in that Gmail account are my documents for that year.
I label them by putting the address in the subject line of the email, and then I type the names of the various documents in the body of the email that has the attachment. Very simple. Very clean. Why do I use Gmail? Because Google is the master when it comes to search, and with a click of a mouse, I can instantly retrieve any document from any computer with an internet connection, and then review it, print it, or forward it.