You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.
One of the things that's been on my to do list for about 5 years now is to organize all of our personal and financial information in one place. That way, if something ever happened to me, my loved ones wouldn't face the added burden of trying to figure out where our accounts, investments, and passwords are located. I have yet to check that one off my list.
I receive quite a few requests for book and product reviews here. As you may have noticed, I review a lot of books, but almost no products. I made an exception for Information Safe.
I found this piece of software pretty interesting, since it's designed to accomplish the very goal I've been putting off for so long: creating a one-stop storage spot for all of our important information. I thought you might find it useful, so I agreed to try it out and write a review. (For the record, I did receive a free review copy of the software, but I am not receiving any other compensation.)
A Digital Safe Deposit Box
What can Information Safe do for you? I've just begun exploring the full functionality, but it's basically a software program that allows you to securely enter and store all of your critical personal or business information in one place. Here are some key features:
- Home or Small Business Editions are available.
- Desktop or web versions are available. The desktop version is compatible with PCs or Macs, which was a plus for me as I use a Mac and I find it annoying that some other financial software products are not available for Macs in Canada. (Quicken: this means you.)
- The welcome screen offers detailed instructions and tips in both video and text formats.
- You can organize your information according to the following categories: personal information, financial, insurance, legal, health, property, and key contacts.
- The Small Business Edition has additional categories for business information and human resources.
- Templates for each category were designed by experts in the corresponding field: lawyers, insurance, security, medical and disaster recovery professionals.
- A “File Add” option lets you attach almost any document in any format.
- Easy to use: The navigation and data entry process are pretty intuitive and user friendly. I found it brought up important considerations I hadn't even thought about before.
- 60 Day Risk Free Trial: Try it for 60 days and get your money back if you're not satisfied.
- The Home Edition is $49.99 for the desktop version and the web version is $49.99/ year or $4.50/month. (All prices are in U.S. dollars, but the software works fine for Canadians as well.)
- The Small Business Edition is $99.99 for the desktop version. The web version is $79.99/year or $7.95/month.
- While the desktop version stores all of your data on your computer, or an external hard drive, the web version stores your data on a secure server. That way, your data is safe in the event of fire, flood, or computer damage or theft.
Share Your Information Securely
You may want the executor of your will to have access to some or all of your information. The same goes for trusted professionals like lawyers, accountants, or business associates. Information Safe allows you to choose which information you will share and how you'll share it. Once you've selected the specific files you want to share, you have a couple of options:
- Print and keep a hard copy in one or more secure locations. You can also print out specific files to give to relevant professionals like your lawyer or accountant.
- Email a secure link to your chosen recipient. They can access the information only after they answer some security questions. The link expires after 30 days and you have the ability to track the emailed documents to see who has opened them and when they did so.
I don't know about you, but I have a hard enough time managing all of our accounts and passwords, and I'm the one who does it regularly. I can't imagine my husband or our executor trying to figure all of that out in an emergency situation. My husband already finds my filing system incomprehensible. I guess different people think and categorize things in different ways. 😉
Organize, Manage, and Secure Your Critical Information
This seems like a great tool for individuals and businesses to keep their vital information up to date. My one concern was security. How safe is it to have your sensitive information stored on a web server somewhere?
The truth is that a great deal of important information is already kept on computers around the world. Government agencies, financial institutions and tax authorities already have a lot of information about us, and I'm willing to bet it's no longer in a filing cabinet somewhere. The security encryption used by Information Safe is on par with the type used by many government agencies, including the NSA.
One of the things that's kept me from realizing my goal of centralizing our key information in the past is that a lot of it has changed over the past 3 years. With Information Safe, it will be much easier to modify and update that data.
Does this software sound like something you might find useful?