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Big Book of Everything - Get organized
Old 09-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Big Book of Everything - Get organized

Ran across this yesterday and it looks like something that would be beneficial to many members here. Basically, it's a life organizer where you just fill in all the blanks and then, if you should die, everything your relatives or executor will need is all in one place. It's a free download and comes in both a pdf and excel version.

"Uses for the Big Book are:

After you pass away. People will know what accounts to cancel, have access to your email, know where important papers are kept, and otherwise streamline what is already a painful process.
Filling out applications. The information in the book is often found on various applications, by having the book you can look that stuff up at a moments notice.
Making sure you know what your assets are. By going through and inventorying all of your assets, you have a better idea of where you are financially.
Forcing you to prepare for emergencies. By filling out the forms, it will force you to be better prepared when an emergency strikes."

Here's the link if you're interested: The Big Book of Everything
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this, BTravlin.

I took a quick look and it appears to be pretty comprehensive. This is the first free organizer of its kind that I've seen and I've been too cheap to pay for one. I just may finally get everything in one place!
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
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Good idea, I like! The spreadsheet doesn't seem to have anything in it, just the image but the .pdf came out fine.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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Did you look at the other tabs/ sheets?
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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Did you look at the other tabs/ sheets?
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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Thank you - this look awesome!

I've got some of this scattered here and there, and a lot of I just really don't have at all (and no good excuse). I think this will motivate me to get it together. I think I'll keep it on a thumb drive for a bit more security, and add a copy to the drive I'm putting in the safe deposit box.

I'll take a look at his books. I suppose this is similar to what the Nolo books provide, but free is nice!

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Old 09-09-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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Like most of you, DW and I are better organized than most but I thought this was helpful and pretty well done for the most part. The finance related segments are already done for most of us.

Security of the Big Book is imperative once completed while at the same time you want it accessible upon your death or during other emergencies. Thoughts on how to handle the security/accessibility issue?
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:02 AM   #8
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I realized right off after looking at this that I would never get through all of that....too much duplication.

It's a good idea so I think I'll lift the ideas for what information is important, put it in a shorter document that just has one-liners (small big book, hehe). For instance, rather than recording policy numbers and VINs, I'd just say see folder "Insurance, Auto", which is always up-to date (and always has updated VIN's). Of course if there's not already a folder with the information in it, I'd need to make one, or add the actual information to the small big book.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
I realized right off after looking at this that I would never get through all of that....too much duplication.

It's a good idea so I think I'll lift the ideas for what information is important, put it in a shorter document that just has one-liners (small big book, hehe). For instance, rather than recording policy numbers and VINs, I'd just say see folder "Insurance, Auto", which is always up-to date (and always has updated VIN's). Of course if there's not already a folder with the information in it, I'd need to make one, or add the actual information to the small big book.
If things are that organized, it would preclude using the book at all. What I mean is, a file cabinet with all of the documents in labeled folders would be all that (what should we call them... Estate Controllers?) need. On the other hand, the Big Book (as a hard copy) and the Excel file (digitally) would be much more concise and would/could be (potentially) duplicated enough that lose or destruction would not be an issue.

Wasn't there a thread (or two) about digital copies vs hard copies that took up much space in the past?
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
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I think there was a thread like that, yeah. I figure if the house burns down with me and my computers and files, well, then I'm just dang unlucky, and that eventuality is not one that will be smooth for whoever survived! OTOH, if me OR the house gets gone, there should be less of a problem.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
I realized right off after looking at this that I would never get through all of that....too much duplication.

It's a good idea so I think I'll lift the ideas for what information is important, put it in a shorter document that just has one-liners (small big book, hehe). For instance, rather than recording policy numbers and VINs, I'd just say see folder "Insurance, Auto", which is always up-to date (and always has updated VIN's). Of course if there's not already a folder with the information in it, I'd need to make one, or add the actual information to the small big book.
It is a rather time consuming task but I like having a digital copy of everything on my computer. I take the computer with me whenever I travel and I like the idea of having all the info readily accessible at anytime. I too have everything organized in a file cabinet but that doesn't travel so well.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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It is a rather time consuming task but I like having a digital copy of everything on my computer. I take the computer with me whenever I travel and I like the idea of having all the info readily accessible at anytime.
So if the worst happens to you, the computer will survive? <chuckle>

Anyway, some type of "cloud" storage with Password access for your designated "Next of Kin(s)" would also seem prudent.

(I looked for that quote about the only way to protect knowledge is to keep a copy in multiple places -- the original motivation for public libraries -- but was unsuccessful.)
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:20 AM   #13
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So if the worst happens to you, the computer will survive? <chuckle>

Anyway, some type of "cloud" storage with Password access for your designated "Next of Kin(s)" would also seem prudent.

(I looked for that quote about the only way to protect knowledge is to keep a copy in multiple places -- the original motivation for public libraries -- but was unsuccessful.)
Aren't computers bombproof?

No, the portability comment really applies to me just having the info available when I need it and not the end of life scenario where it is valuable to my survivors.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:45 AM   #14
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Sheesh... every time I think I'm getting caught up, I get another assignment.

Am currently finishing this other Big Book...
Boy Scout Handbook 1911

So will start on the other, next week.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:04 PM   #15
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Security of the Big Book is imperative once completed while at the same time you want it accessible upon your death or during other emergencies. Thoughts on how to handle the security/accessibility issue?
Assuming I actually get it filled out, I would probably put two copies on flash drives - one in the safe deposit box and the other one hidden in the house (we'd tell our [adult] kids where to find it). For general backup, DH rotates two external HDs from his computer to the safe deposit box monthly and I backup my files both to my own external HD (all files) and to his (critical files).

I would consider giving one flash drive to my sister who is still the executor of our estate until the kids get a little older, but I think she would not be able to resist looking at some of the details related to our net worth. I'd rather her not know that at this point.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:05 PM   #16
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Assuming I actually get it filled out, ...

I would consider giving one flash drive to my sister who is still the executor of our estate until the kids get a little older, but I think she would not be able to resist looking at some of the details related to our net worth. I'd rather her not know that at this point.
Back to some earlier comments, it didn't scare me that it looked so detailed. I'll fill out the most important stuff first, and just keep building as I go. I'm guessing a LOT of that stuff is N/A for me.

I also thought about a flash drive to give to a relative. But I'd be more afraid that it might get stolen. Maybe a very, very strong password, and let them know where they can find the password - like in a book in our house or something. That assumes they can get access to our house in this case, but they have a key already.

-ERD50
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