Managing your warranties and manuals

While it might suit your plan to go paperless and scan, shred and recycle all your paper files to boost the efficiency of your business, it’s wise to hang onto the warranties or guarantees for appliances or equipment that you still have in use.

If a computer or appliance breaks down, you can always bring a copy of the scanned warranty to the store where you bought the item, or keep the copy at home if the store demands the original warranty.

In any case, you’re covered – and when the item is repaired or replaced, you still have the original warranty and a copy if you need them again. When the item is no longer used and you get rid of it, that’s when you can put the warranty in the recycling bin.

Manuals are somewhat the same. It’s a good idea to scan all your manuals, including the large machinery manuals, as a backup. If the manual you use in the garage gets damaged or lost you can always print a new one. And if you want to sell a piece of equipment, the original manual is not only appreciated by the new owner, it can add value to the sale.

Sometimes you need to have a paper manual at your side when you’re using a machine that you’re not familiar with. In these cases it might be impractical to read the digitised manual off a computer screen.

This is particularly true of equipment and vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, gas-powered lawnmowers and chain saws, especially if they have a multi-step procedure for fuelling or starting.

Depending on the kind of machine it is, you might be able to keep a digitised manual on your computer that is useful for providing directions; or you can scan the manual and keep the copy on your computer as a backup only. Then you can use the original manual or a printout in the garage.

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