Almost any software purchased these days includes a product key: a unique code that activate the software. In most cases, this key is what you truly purchase: it confirms your licensed right to use the program. But how do you keep track of all those keys?
You’ll need these keys any time you re-install the program. That could be an expected situation like the purchase of a new computer, or come at an unexpected time if your computer suffers a failure or your home or office is involved in a catastrophe.
There’s a few ways to keep track of all your product keys. Some keep them written down or printed, others prefer to keep them in their email box. In many cases, you can even retrieve a lost product key by visiting the company’s website or the online store where you purchased the software (assuming the company is still in business). In my case, I keep them together with the installer file itself (which is also backed up to SkyDrive, of course).
This solution keeps the product key married with the install program, so you always have it when you need it. It’s also easy to copy and paste: just highlight the file and choose rename (F2 for keyboard lovers) and copy it.
Including a few words describing the software is also a good practice. I can never remember the name of this program, but I know it syncs my iPod. By including that in the name, I can quickly search for this installer later.