Your family files (6): Academic and professional records, and valuables

We now come to the  last five kinds of family files that you must organize and keep.These are academic records, professional and employment records, identification cards, lists and inventories, and valuables.

Academic records

You need to keep academic records because these are needed in pursuing higher studies, applying for certain professional positions, for immigration purposes, among others. 

Academic records include report cards, transcripts of records, diplomas and certificates. You may also want to include file copies of applications especially if these contain an extensive list of awards, recognitions and commendations, because these will serve as your documentation, and could be a good reference later on.

Medals, awards and even photographs of milestone events such as graduation and awarding ceremonies would also be good to include.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  1. Report cards
  2. Transcript of records
  3. Diplomas
  4. Certificates
  5. Applications
  6. Medals
  7. Awards
  8. Photographs of graduation, awarding ceremonies and other milestones
  9. Others ___________________

Professional and employment records

Your professional records include copies of your professional licenses and accreditations, awards and commendations, membership certificates or records in professional organizations. Also have copies of your resumes or curriculum vitae, and update these as the need arises.

Employment documents include your employment contracts, payslips or summary of salaries received, deductions from salary, and awards and citations.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  1. Profession licenses
  2. Resume / curriculum vitae
  3. Memberships in professional organizations
  4. Awards and commendations
  5. Accreditations
  6. Others ___________________

Identification cards

You may also want to keep a file of your past and present identification cards. For those ID cards that you use and which you bring all the time such as your driver’s license, you can keep photocopies. This will come in handy if you lose the identification card and need a replacement. ID cards include government-issued cards such as your social security card, driver’s license,  tax identification number (TIN) card,  residency card, and passport. The latter two may already be included in your file of Passports and Travel Documents, but photocopies can be included here as well. Also include school ID, employment ID, membership ID in clubs, organizations and associations.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  1. Social security
  2. Driver’s license
  3. Residency card
  4. Passport
  5. School ID
  6. Employment ID
  7. Membership card
  8. Others ___________________

Lists and inventories

I also advise you to draw up lists and inventories of important items and information, for ready reference. This can be classified into sub-categories and written in index cards. You can include passwords and personal identification numbers (PIN) for bank accounts, internet accounts, safe combinations, motor vehicle license plate and registration numbers, contact details of close relatives and key persons such as your doctor, lawyer and accountant.

I also recommend making an inventory of your important items such as your collections, appliances and gadgets, writing down their serial numbers and including warranty cards and vital information as well. Instead of a plain list, you can take pictures of these items, write down their serial numbers or other identifying features beside or at the back of the pictures, and put these together with their warranty cards in a clear book. You will have to update the clearbook as the need arises.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  1. Passwords and personal identification numbers (PINS)
  2. Safe combinations
  3. Motor vehicle license plates and registration numbers
  4. Contact details of close relatives
  5. Contact details of key persons: doctor, lawyer, accountant, others
  6. Photo file of important gadgets, collections and appliances with serial numbers and warranty yards
  7. Others ___________________


This last category is not for documents but actual items that are valuable to you such as heirloom pieces, jewelry, firearms, duplicate or spare keys, photos, compact discs and USB drives or digital storage devices. These may also include items which are of sentimental value such as letters, keepsakes and souvenirs.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  1. Heirloom pieces
  2. Firearms
  3. Jewelry
  4. Spare keys
  5. Photo albums
  6. Compact discs, USB drives, portable hard drives
  7. Letters, keepsakes, souvenirs
  8. Others ___________________

Having identified the various family files that you must keep, in the next blog post, I will talk about where to keep them.

See you then!

* This post is based on my free ebook, YOUR FAMILY FILES. This free ebook shows you how you can keep your most important personal and legal documents safe yet easy to find. It’s a good step for your peace of mind. Click here to get it now.

Posted in Family files.

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