Introducing myhomefiling 4

It’s official, myhomefiling 4 is now available

We’ve been hinting that this release would land fairly soon, and today it has.  It’s been several months in the making as we’ve been working on our most requested feature, namely the ability to add your own Cabinets and Folders. Coupled with a some other large changes, we’ve deemed this release worthy enough of a major version number change, hence the 4, rather than a 3.x version.

The three main changes to the program are

  1. Create custom Cabinets and Folders
    You can now create up to 10 custom Cabinets with each Cabinet capable of storing 15 custom Folders, giving you a whopping 150 extra places to file your documents!
  2. Improved Reminders system
    Reminders have been in the program since version 2, but these haven’t really been used to full effect. From version 4, your reminders will now have more prominence in the program. Check out page 12 of the new user guide for further details
  3. Export Reminders to iCal format
    To go along with the improved reminders system, we’ve added the ability to export your reminders to the iCal format. These exports can be used with popular email and calendar programs (such as Microsoft Outlook) which will allow you to keep track of your reminders when you’re on the move (if you sync calendar’s with your mobile phone of online services)

There are also a whole raft of tweaks under the hood to make the program work just that little bit faster and also to address some bugs that have been reported since the last release.
If you’re already using a previous version of myhomefiling, then you ‘ll see an update notification the next time you start the program.  Or you can get the latest setup file from the download page.

We’ve also gone social, so you can now find us on Twitter and Facebook.  Follow us to find out the latest news as it happens. site update is now live

All systems are go

If you’re reading this, then we’ve hit our milestones and our new site is up and running.  We’ll be the first to admit that the old site was getting a little long in the tooth, and it was high time we issued a refresh.  With the new site comes a new content management system, so you can expect frequent updates coming from the sales and marketing team.

What we are keen to push are video tutorials for myhomefiling.  We’ve got some basic tutorials lined up, but if there is a specific feature you’d like to see as a video tutorial, then please let us know.

The other big news is that if you’re reading this, then myhomefiling 4 is now also available to download.  This has some major changes that we hope you’ll really like.  If you keep an eye on the blog, then a full release statement will be going up shortly.

Why file at home?

We make a lot of assumptions that people understand why they would use electronic filing in the home. But we’ve quickly realised that this isn’t necessarily true. So without further ado, here are what we feel to be the three key reasons why:

1. Space Saving
With post (general correspondence, bills, statements etc) still arriving daily to almost every household there will come a point when a decision needs to be made on what to keep and what not to keep because space in the home filing system is at a premium. Naturally, we make the assumption that the newest documents will have the most relevant information on so a cull will begin on older documents, but at what point should the cull begin? By scanning and keeping an electronic copy of each document on your computer would it matter where in your filing system the cull occurred, as long as you had the information you needed and saved space?

2. Easy Access
A common response to the idea of space saving is “I have a loft/garage/shed/some space in a mates flat…” which is a perfectly fair response that can certainly overcome any immediate storage issues . But what happens if you need information from one of the documents that you’ve put out of the way? Is it readily accessible when you need it? You could be on the phone arranging car insurance in need of accident history to complete the process – you’ll have to go in search of the information and call back later – time consuming and cumbersome; You could be talking to your utilities provider – now what was your account number from the previous supplier? Is that really better than having the information you need only a keypress or three away?

3. Peace of Mind
As compelling as the first two points are, for some people, the idea of recording ever bit of paper, every document, receipt etc provides a peace of mind that can’t be ignored. We can pretend that bad things don’t happen (such as floods, fire etc) or we can do our very best to ensure that any disruption caused by such events is as minimal as it can be. Now no one is saying that myhomefiling can prevent your house from flooding – but, it could prevent you losing valuable information should your original documents be totally destroyed. Thankfully, many of us won’t experience such disasters – but the duplication of documents and the information which they contain does afford some comfort in that the information will not be lost forever. It could be considered a modern day equivalent of photocopying documents and placing the original in the firesafe “just in case”.

So that’s what we believe to be the three key reasons why you would adopt a system such as myhomefiling for home filing; (we’d have to point out here that these aren’t mutually exclusive either, our experience shows that people will generally cite two or even all three reasons for their personal decision to use myhomefiling)

Paperless Billing

There’s been a big push over the last 18 – 24 months by many companies (banks, utility providers etc) to move (consumers) to paperless billing; with people embracing online account access, this seems a sensible move by these companies as it gives you instant access to records where and when you’ll typically need them.  Ignoring the cynic in me that say’s this saves these companies a fortune in postage costs, it’s still great news from an environmental perspective given the billions of bills that must be printed on a monthly basis.

Me personally, I’m slowly transitioning to the paperless billing, but I’m still using  myhomefiling to store the PDFs where before I’d have scanned the paper copy.  It’s certainly easier to manage than paper billing, especially when a multi page document comes as a single PDF.  Where a paper document and a flat bed scanner could take a couple of minutes to file, the PDF takes seconds.  Using the watch folder as a default download location for PDFs makes it even easier.
But what are you doing with them?  Are you leaving them online and accessing them when you want?  Do you know how long you can access the information for before they’re purged from companies systems?  What happens if you switch service provider, can you still access your old information, or does your account get closed down?  Just as importantly, do you care?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so please leave your comments below.