Personal Information Management – Closing out the year – Items to do

12-31-11 the year is coming to a close. Another year behind us. More personal data has piled up in our individual lives than we can possibly manage without a well thought out plan, and the discipline and tools to execute it.

FACTS: We are in the midst of a “Data Deluge”
1.) 85% of all data is either personal data, or information about that data. Noted by IDC.
2.) Data is growing at an exponential rate. It is doubling every two years. Noted by Gartner
3.) 98% of all new data starts out in digital form. Noted by IDC
4.) Digital data or more specifically, the media that digital data is stored on, has a shelf life of 3 to 5 years. Compare this to hard copy data that last indefinitely. Noted by Peter Gailey
5.) There is more data being generated globally every year than there is media to store it on. Noted by IDC
6.) Corporate giants are making decisions that are effecting your personal information without your knowledge or consent. Noted by Peter Gailey
7.) We as individuals, are witnessing a “Data Deluge” in our personal lives, and it will continue to grow exponentially.

Conclusion: Personal information must be proactively managed or you will lose it either to obsolescence, neglect, arbitrary corporate decisions, or the lack of the ability to find it.

A.) Put together a hard copy file folder, and an electronic file folder that you will use to collect the various year-end summary reports in anticipation of doing your 2011 Taxes.
B.) Establish electronic communication with all of your Financial Institutions.
- Use secure Passwords for each Institution. See
- Learn how to manage and work with an electronic Spreadsheet. (What is a spreadsheet? See: Spreadsheet tutorial spend some time on this. It is a fundamental computer skill that is very useful.
– Download your yearend summary reports in electronic form. Save them on your hard drive. Print them out. Manipulate them to your advantage. It will save you a lot of time and will potentially save you a lot of money while doing your taxes.
C.) Pay your bills. Continue to automate and digitize your data. See:
D.) Send out your “Thank You” notes for the considerations you received over the holidays. It is the right thing to do.
E.) Make any last-minute Investment moves, if it is not too late in the year.
F.) Coordinate any and all returns / exchanges from gifts and considerations.
G.) Review and update your “Social List”. Always a good time to evaluate where, and with whom you are spending your time and energy.
H.) Back up your phone.
I.) Back up your notebook and mobile devices.
J.) Back up all of your data on an external drive.
K.) Back up all the systems in your reach (Kids, Spouse and any significant others.)
L.) Back up all that data again on a different external drive and move that to a remote site.

Call to action: I know this seems like a lot to do…. But our lives are getting more and more complicated and data rich. Execute the actions above and rest at ease that your data is safe, and you are starting to put together a plan to tame the data deluge in your life.

Happy New Year. Be safe tonight.


Peter Gailey
The PIMCoach


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