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Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
196
67
WDC Metro area
Retired, I have been helping seniors with Apple devices for almost three years; all are members of a aging-in-place community.

One of them emailed me today with this cry for help. Can anyone suggest any software that might fill this bill?

***********

I need some help with everyday records for home maintenance, life information, & personal finance organization to a smaller degree. Can anyone recommend someone who is very familiar with Apple software, who can give me about 2-3 hours a week for 1-on-1 tutoring on cleaning up, re-organizing….. almost like an electronic office manager, maybe?

I am finding that I have not been consistent with categories, folders, etc. in various software apps, etc…… Some records are in multiple locations (Notes, Files, Spreadsheets, iCloud/iCloud Drive, etc).
While there is some consistency, things are a mess!
Having a clear overall system that I can refer to (eg: where to put & how to earmark all home improvement notes, & payments; does important information in emails get stored in a mailbox, or sent to a file? Where should file/folder be? etc).
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
9,916
12,228
where hip is spoken
Ack. This request came a little too early for me to offer a solution. In preparation for my active retirement, I've been developing a suite of free tools, templates, and protocols for this type of life management.

For a starting point, I suggest looking at what people are doing with Google Drive and Docs. There are tons of resources, templates, etc. for accomplishing those tasks. And these can be imported or converted for use with Pages/Keynote/Numbers. (or as a reason to start using Google Drive and Docs on Apple devices which offers some benefits for the seniors.)

Some of the approaches to file management translate very well from Google Drive to the Mac OS file system.
 
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mmkerc

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2014
136
43
I am not aware of any software that does all of those things. There are of course many applications that do some of those things and combined may meet the person's need.

That said I think the bigger issue is to devise the file structure regardless of application being used. example is to have the same, or nearly the same file structure in Mail, as in the documents folder, photos, Evernote, etc.
 

Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
196
67
WDC Metro area
I found these suggestions which I am posting here for anyone who might run across this thread in the future:

One could simply create folders for all of these classes of data, and then sort one’s files into them. For documents that fit more than one classification, you can put an alias into each folder.

Or…you can just create smart folders (they are sort of like a pre-set search) for all of your classes of data, and then you don’t have to move anything.




Or…there is a class of software that allows you to leave everything on your hard drive right where it is, and it does the sorting for you. It is called “document management software”. A popular example is:


DevonThink Standard/Pro $99/$199 (Pro version includes OCR, scanner integration, and e-mail integration)

https://www.devontechnologies.com/apps/devonthink

There is a free e-book for DevonThink:

https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/devonthink-3/

This e-book might be helpful:

Take Control of Managing Your Files

$13

https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/managing-files



__________________________________________
 

greg72nova

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2022
1
1
Retired, I have been helping seniors with Apple devices for almost three years; all are members of a aging-in-place community.

One of them emailed me today with this cry for help. Can anyone suggest any software that might fill this bill?

***********

I need some help with everyday records for home maintenance, life information, & personal finance organization to a smaller degree. Can anyone recommend someone who is very familiar with Apple software, who can give me about 2-3 hours a week for 1-on-1 tutoring on cleaning up, re-organizing….. almost like an electronic office manager, maybe?

I am finding that I have not been consistent with categories, folders, etc. in various software apps, etc…… Some records are in multiple locations (Notes, Files, Spreadsheets, iCloud/iCloud Drive, etc).
While there is some consistency, things are a mess!
Having a clear overall system that I can refer to (eg: where to put & how to earmark all home improvement notes, & payments; does important information in emails get stored in a mailbox, or sent to a file? Where should file/folder be? etc).
Equally important is a system or approach to enable a loved one or family to access the information. That likely boils down to paper, hopefully a very limited amount of information but enough to successfully point to where the information is, with passwords etc. If the person is not very computer literate, and the approach can be very hard to guarantee. Add to that the emotions that occur with bereavement. I wish I could share some answers, but all I have are questions. I am sure there is no one size fits all solution. I will monitor and am open to dialog on helping to find ways to address this.
 
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PhoenixDown

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2012
375
290
This has been on my 'to do list' for a while.

Some things I wanted to add:
  • A pre-penned letter for family and friends
  • My funeral and burial wishes (I want it simple and as cheap as possible!)
 

digidude

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2008
18
26
If you have any tech ability at all (know how to use Excel to some degree) you could try FileMaker Pro, which is an Apple product. It allows you to create a database with almost any kind of information, and you can password protect it. You can even create your own app with it. There are also lots of templates available for free. https://www.claris.com/filemaker/
 
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Nygaard

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2022
33
15
Houston
One could simply create folders for all of these classes of data, and then sort one’s files into them. For documents that fit more than one classification, you can put an alias into each folder.

Or…you can just create smart folders (they are sort of like a pre-set search) for all of your classes of data, and then you don’t have to move anything.

This seems like the right approach, more-so than an app. From what you've shared, it sounds like your friend just needs guidance in improving their organizational skills. Without that, any sort of specialized knowledge-base app will quickly degenerate into a mess of files.

There's no "right" way to organize your files – it varies widely from person to person. The most important aspect is that it makes sense to the person using it. Generally speaking, the simpler the system, the better it is.

They say they already have some consistency: I would start there. Figure out what they are already doing that works and slowly retrench.

You could create a simple text document that describes the current system (or the system you wish you had). Then when you encounter a new piece of information to file away, this roadmap document reminds you where to put it.
 

H_D

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2021
37
41
Receipts is a MacApp that might help as it is quite perfect for organizing records. Also, Evernote or Eagle Filer come to mind.
 
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