It’s always a good idea to document serial numbers of the high priced gadgets in your home or business. If your place burns down, gets damaged in a storm or is broken into, having that information is useful. It is good for many reasons. It can help for tax purposes if you have equipment you need to write off. Furthermore, if you have to call tech support with an issue a serial number is useful to see if you are eligible for support. And, if the equipment is lost or stolen, having a serial number will make it easier to replace.
Unfortunately, most people just hook up the new device and never do anything else. If you have neglected this, now is a good time to go around your place and start documenting the information. The more information you can write down, the better.
Collect All The Serial Numbers
It is best to just go around your house or business and write down the serial numbers on all the important equipment you can find. One of the best ways to keep track of all of this is by using a spreadsheet. You can create different columns to hold each piece of data including the serial number, product name and date of purchase. You can even use different tabs to separate between business and personal items.
Personally, I use Evernote to track all of these items. Evernote is a system where you can capture just about anything by using notes, email, photographs, etc. I take pictures of each item along with the serial number. I then title the note with the item and use a tag to indicate it is an item in my home or business. The search feature in Evernote can search inside images and documents. So, if I am looking for a specific item, I can find it pretty easily. But, if I ever have a theft or fire, for example, I can search for everything within a specific tag. Furthermore, all the data is kept in the Cloud. Therefore, if I do have a catastrophic event, I can recover all that information.
Get The Data Offsite
If you use a solution like Evernote, then you will already have this taken care of. However, if you use something like a spreadsheet or old fashioned paper then you will need to make sure the data is stored in a safe place offsite. It you use a spreadsheet, you can email it to yourself. If you use paper, it is a good idea to store it in a safe deposit box.
If you have an account with Google, you can use their spreadsheet service to keep the file in your account there.
Keeping your serial numbers in a safe place is important. If you ever need the information and didn’t go through the trouble of collecting them then you will have a lot of regrets. It is too easy to get it taken care of as you get new equipment. And, to get caught up it should only take an hour or so. A little bit of diligence will go a long way when you really need it.