Saturday, July 2, 2016

Allstate Digital Locker Review


To prepare for our move, I wanted to take an inventory of our house.  Of course, I searched for software and applications to help with this and stumbled across a free service from our insurance company, called "Allstate Digital Locker".  This is a cloud based service that runs on PC or MAC withing a browser, or as a stand alone app on Ipads, Iphones, and Android devices.  It is free to use for Allstate customers, I am not sure how it works for others.

You fill out forms and take pictures of items in your home and it keeps an inventory in the cloud.  You can download the database and manipulate it manually as well.  It works satisfactorily, particularly if you use an Iphone or Ipad.

Pros

  1. Its free and it works
  2. Plenty of fields that you can fill out if you wish: description, room, cost, quantity etc.  
  3. Information can be downloaded as a PDF file or in a comma delimited file (CSV) that can be imported into a spreadsheet program like Excel or Libreoffice
  4. Reasonably quick on an up to date Iphone, but slower on other devices.  It takes about 1-3 seconds to add an item after you input the data.

Cons

  1. Very slow on a PC.  It takes at least 10 seconds to add an item to its database.
  2. The comma delimited file download has bugs and skips fields, so you will need to do some editing in your spreadsheet to make it useable.
  3. The PDF file is big and uses a lot of paper if you print it
  4. No easy way to skip steps or automate collecting data.  For example, every time you say you want to add a photograph, you have to answer the question of whether you will take the photo, use an existing photo, or use a stock photo in their database.

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