Mark Snow has introduced two cloud-based document storage services based on his own needs, which may turn out to be a nice happenstance for others as well.
Snow's secure file organizing and sharing facilities not only have the potential to solve the almost inevitable where-the dickens did-I-put-the-car-title question but perhaps be life saving as well.
It's where Snow's ideas come from that's interesting.
Snow is CEO of SafelyFiled.com LLC, a Libertyville company that provides Internet storage for household documents -- that car title, for example; Social Security statements; marriage licenses; birth certificates and, increasingly, confidential business documents.
Closer to 65 than 60, Snow has concentrated his post-retirement entrepreneurial spurt on services he and other seniors need. That's how SafelyFiled was born.
"My memory is not as I want it to be," Snow says. "Where did I put that piece of paper?"
That's something my family would have to deal with if something happens to me.
We talked with some friends, and they have this problem, too: "Where did I put ...?"
"So what we do is make three copies of everything, and we still can't find the paper when we need it." SafelyFiled, akin to a web safety deposit box, is where the document can be stored.
With a $48 annual fee for storage of 1,000 documents, SafelyFiled "is not making money yet," Snow says, but the company has "a few hundred active users.
The more active users are businesses seeking to safely store and protect confidential documents."
Snow can thank his 90-year old mother, Lillian, for his newest service, SafelyMD.
"My mother would call me every afternoon to ask what medicines she should take. She has a number of them," Snow explains.
"The phone would ring; I'd go to the computer and answer her questions. I had a folder set up."
In addition, "I have my own health issues. I go to the doctor and they ask what medicines I'm taking. Shouldn't they know?"
Out of those two fairly common household situations, and Snow's predilection for problem solving, came SafelyMD, an online service that provides each family member with a secure Web page that lists all the information EMTs and doctors might need in a crisis situation including current medications, allergies and other medical conditions and emergency contacts.
SafelyMD has storage space for resuscitation orders and health care powers of attorney forms, too.
When users complete their form, they can print out a personal SafelyMD Emergency Medical Data Card, sized to fit in a wallet or purse or to post on the refrigerator door.
The card is imprinted with a unique QR code that medical personnel with a tablet or smartphone can use to access the information.
"If you're in an accident, police or EMTs will go through your wallet to find out who you are -- and they'll find the SafelyMD card," says Snow.
At home, a sticker on a window or door will help alert emergency personnel.
• © 2014 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter, and at Kendall Communications on Facebook. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com.