What About My Documents?

Do you ever find yourself working with someone else and you have to share a document back-and-forth, and after a while you don’t know which one is the most recent? And then you don’t know who the last person was to make changes, or if you are working on the right one, or if your previous changes are even captured in the latest on e that was just sent by email? And then there is the file that is saved on the Q:, F:, and L: drives that all have an identical name. Which one of those is the one that you are supposed to be using?

A lot of work has been done to help people solve the problem of tracking what happens to your documents. Some companies use Sharepoint, other companies have different document management tools. But a lot of companies don’t have any formal infrastructure for document management. This means that documents are emailed and saved to shared drives as a way of transferring and sharing files.

What if there was a product that:

  1. Traces where the document you are working on comes from.
  2. Shows you the history attributes of the document (who changed it when, what it was changed to, where that version of the document is currently stored)
  3. Is extremely accurate and easily accessible.
  4. Fits in with your everyday work, no additional work needed.

I would like to float an idea for a new product. Blockchain is a way of keeping a record of actions in a way that is easily verifiable with a very strong record of the action’s history. In this case the action would be the creation and changing of a document. The product that I am proposing would:

  • Keep a record of documents that are created or changed. When the document is sent to another user, they would continue on the blockchain record so that you would know what has happened to the document.
  • Provide a dashboard to know where the file was, and when it had been changed last. The dashboard would also provide an a path to the file so that you would know where the changed file was.
  • Not require a central database of document tracking because the blockchain records would be distributed across the internal network of the organization. (Or perhaps internal and designated external network locations.)

With the ability to track documents using a blockchain approach across all of your computers on your network, you would be able to always know where a document was, what the status is, and who has ownership, or eyes-on, the document. The permissions to the document would still be governed by the user’s ability to access the document.

This product would solve my problems of chasing documents. I wonder if anyone else would find it useful.