Loading JPGs to Canon Irista, emails to Mega, and PDF copies of other documents to Google Drive

Looking for Documents

Generally you will need to search for copies of relevant documents you may find on your computer/tablet/phone, or in your paper files, or documents you may be able to obtain from elsewhere - such as from public records. It is a matter of searching and seeing what you can find.

Providing copies of documents to me

You should provide me with copies of digital photos (JPGs) and videos by loading them to Canon Irista, load emails (and any audio files) to Mega, and provide me with PDF copies of all other types of documents (including letters, deeds, old non-digital photos, etc.) by loading the PDF copies to Google Drive. The PDF copies loaded to Google Drive must be given names commencing with the document date in yyyy-mm-dd format so that they appear in chronological order (this can be done as each PDF copy is being created or, alternatively if easier, PDF copies can be created initially with system-generated default names and be renamed later after loading to Google Drive). Digital photos and videos, on the other hand, should be loaded to Irista "as is" and must not be renamed (Irista will list them in chronological order using the embedded EXIF date-taken data). Likewise emails and any audio files should be loaded to Mega "as is".

You need a Google account to use Google Drive and Canon Irista. If you already use GMail or Google Drive or any other Google service you will already have a Google account. If not it is easy to create one

Note: documents loaded to Google Drive and to Canon Irista and Mega are generally stored on servers outside the United Kingdom.

Create a Google Account if you do not yet have one

You need a Google account to use Google Drive and Canon Irista. If you already use GMail or Google Drive or any other Google service you will already have a Google account. If not it is easy to create one by going to https://accounts.google.com


Load JPG digital photos and videos to Irista

1. On the phone or other device where your digital photos and/or videos are, download the Canon Irista app if you do not already have it (or if your digital photos/videos are on a computer go to www.irista.com).

2. Sign in to Irista using your Google account.

3. Upload the digital photos and/or videos to Irista

Irista automatically shows the photos in an album in chronological order using the date/time taken information in the EXIF data. You may find that a few of the photos you have do not have EXIF data. This could be because they were taken with a very old phone or it could be that the photo was "texted" to you by someone else. Photos texted using MMS are, depending on the phone model and network, often compressed to reduce the number of MBs which have to be transmitted and often the EXIF data is removed and the picture quality reduced. Photos without EXIF data will appear at the start of the album, out of chronological order, but this does not matter as there will normally be only a few photos missing EXIF data. It is sometimes possible to tell what date and time a photo which lacks EXIF data was taken from the file name - e.g. Resized_20190207_133807.jpg and it is important that all photos loaded to Irista are loaded as is with their original filenames and are not renamed.

Create an Irista Album for the photos/videos and give me access

4. Create an album 

and give the album an appropriate name - e.g. Jones - Land dispute digital photos and videos 

and include the digital photos/videos in the album.

5.  Tap the Share symbol for the album

and send an "invite" to me so that I can see and download the digital photos/videos

Note: Google Street View images and Google Earth images

Don't attempt to load Google Street View images of Google Earth images to Irista: instead create PDF copies and load them to Google Drive as explained below.  

Note: Text Messages

Generally Irista is only for digital photos (and videos) and Google Drive is for copies of all other documents (including non-digital photos), but text messages are an exception because of the difficulty in creating copies of text messages. You should create JPG files by taking  screenshots of text messages. How to initiate a screenshot on a phone depends on what phone model it is but on iPhones it is usually pressing the home button and power button at the same time. On Android phones it is often pressing the volume down button and power button at the same time. Take a screenshot of all the text messages you have exchanged with each correspondent, in one go in a single JPG, by pressing the scroll capture button to scroll through, and capture, the entire message display. Then load those JPGs (one for each person you have exchanged messages with) into Irista (not to Google Drive).   


Load emails to Mega and give me access

You should create a PST or MBOX file containing relevant or potentially relevant emails.  

To create a PST file you need Microsoft Outlook on a Windows computer. Microsoft Outlook is part of the Office 365 suite so if you have a Windows computer with Word and Excel the chances are you already have Outlook even if you have not yet used it. Set up Microsoft Outlook on your Windows computer (if you are not already using it) and then use it to create copies of the emails in a PST file

Alternatively create copies of the emails in an MBOX file. How to do this depends on which email system you are using. If you are using Gmail, how to create an MBOX containing relevant emails is explained in this video.

Once you have created an MBOX or PST file containing the relevant emails, go to www.mega.nz and upload the file.

Click the Manage link button for the file and send me a link

Load any audio recordings to Mega and give me access

Go to www.mega.nz and upload the recording

Click the Manage link button and send me a link to the file

Google Drive

Create a Google Drive folder and give me access

Download the Google Drive app or access Google Drive on the web

If you have not used Google Drive before, download the Google Drive app for Android or iPhone/iPad or if you are using a computer go to http://drive.google.com and follow the instructions to log on.  


Create a new folder in Google Drive

When you get to the My Drive panel, tap the New button. What the New button looks like depends on what kind of device you are using. It may be a circle or a rectangle, it may or may not have the word New on it, but it will normally have a plus sign on it. 

After tapping the New button select Folder from the menu.

Enter the name of the folder - e.g. Jones - Land dispute documents - and select Create as shown below. 

Give me access to the Google Drive folder

Select the folder as shown below, then select to bring up the share/people panel. If you cannot see thesymbol, you may have to select the three dots symbol first and then select Folder Actions to get the symbol to appear, so that you can select it.

When you select the symbol, the panel below will appear

Type in my email address as shown above and tap the Send button or tap the  symbol.

Load PDF copies of paper/card photos to a Google Drive folder

You need to scan in photos which are in paper or card form as PDFs as explained under Scanning paper documents into a Google Drive folder below. Before you start the scan operation for a photo check whether there is any information written on the reverse of the photo and, if there is, scan in both sides of the photo as a two page PDF to load to Google Drive. Many photo prints will have the date when they were produced from the negatives on the back which will be some evidence of the date the photo was taken (i.e. the photo could not have been taken after the date that prints were produced).

Note: the reason why you should scan in photos as PDF's, rather than as JPG files, is that if you scan in photos as JPG files your scanner will probably add the date you scan them in as the "date taken" in the JPG file EXIF data. This can be confusing because the JPG file might later be wrongly thought to be a digital photo taken on that date when, in fact, it is merely a recently scanned copy of a non-digital photo taken at a much earlier date.

Load PDFs to a Google Drive folder

If you have files on computer, tablet, phone etc. which are already in PDF form, you can load them direct to Google Drive. There are two methods of doing this as shown below.

Note: if you have a large PDF containing more than one document, you need to extract the individual documents before you can load them to Google Drive.

Method 1: Initiate the load of the PDF from inside Google Drive

Tap on your Google Drive folder to open it, and a panel similar to that shown below will appear

Tap the New button. What the New button looks like depends on what kind of device you are using. It may be a circle or a rectangle, it may or may not have the word New on it, but it should have a plus sign on it. Select the File Upload option. You can then select the PDFs you want to load to your Google Drive folder.

The WikiHow website give some more detailed instructions for different types of device.

Method 2: Start by displaying the PDF and "Share" it to Google Drive

When you are displaying a PDF if there is a Google Drive symbol like this:

you can tap it to load the document to Google Drive.

If you can't see a Google Drive symbol but there is a share symbol like this:

try tapping the share symbol and you may then be given the option of loading to Google Drive.

Load PDF copies of other electronic files to a Google Drive folder 

For other files (i.e. files which are not PDFs, emails, JPGs, video or audio files) on computer, tablet or phone you can use PDFEN Convert to create PDF copies of the files - a couple of minutes after you tap the Convert button, the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and PDFs (one for each document) will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or else listed so that you can click to open them. You can then load the PDFs to your Google Drive folder.

PDFEN uses default values when creating PDF copies and you may find that some copies are not in the most appropriate format - e.g. a PDF copy of a spreadsheet may lack gridlines. Check each PDF created by PDFEN carefully and if the PDF created is not satisfactory use the print facility to "print to a PDF" instead.

Load PDF copies of paper documents into a Google Drive folder

To scan in paper documents to Google Drive you can either use a scanning service or else do it yourself with your own scanner. Some scanners can be set up to scan directly to Google Drive but setting a scanner up to do this can be complicated and most people find it easier to use one of the methods below.  

Method 1: Use your scanner together with an App on your phone or tablet 

Most scanner manufacturers provide an App which you can download to your phone or tablet e.g. Brother iPrint&Scan or HP's All-in-One Printer Remote App. The app allows you to scan a document and then load it as a PDF to your Google Drive folder using the share button. When saving the PDF in Google Drive you should get the opportunity to give it a name such as 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones but you do not have to type in a name at this stage - if you prefer you can leave it to default to a system generated name and then check and rename all the PDFs in Google drive after you have loaded them all up (as explained later on on this page).   


Method 2: Use your scanner to scan to a memory card or USB stick

Many scanners have a slot for a memory card or USB stick and allow you to scan direct to the memory card/USB stick. You then insert the memory card/USB stick in to your phone/tablet/computer and load the PDFs on it to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above

Method 3: Use your scanner connected to your computer

You can plug the scanner into your computer, scan documents to PDFs. Then load the PDFs to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above.

Whichever method of scanning you use it is important that all pages of a single document should should be scanned into a single PDF

Whichever method you use, if a document consists of more than one page, make sure that all pages are scanned into a single PDF. Don't produce a separate PDF for each page as it makes it very difficult if you have to keep closing one PDF and opening another to read through the document. 

If you put all the pages of a document in the document feeder on your scanner they should, by default, be scanned into a single multi-page PDF. If you are not using the document feeder but are instead putting each page of a document, in turn, on the glass (e.g. because the pages are fragile) the scanning dialogue you use should prompt you after scanning each page to say whether there are more pages of the document to be scanned (or whether the page you have just scanned is the last page of the document) so that it knows to include the next page in the same PDF as the preceding pages.  

If you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass, so that you have no choice but to produce separate PDFs for each page of a multiple-page document, then you can merge those multiple PDFs into a single PDF containing all the pages of the document before loading that single multi-page PDF to Google Drive. One of the easiest ways to merge PDFs is to use PDFEN Merge - after a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and a single PDF containing all the pages will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or opened. You can then load that PDF to your Google Drive folder. 

Buying a scanner

However a better long term solution (if you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass) is to buy a new scanner. The cost of good quality scanners is coming down all the time and you can buy a combined scanner and printer, which can scan and print double-sided, A4 and A3, for less than £150. When buying a scanner make sure that the scanner has a double-sided automatic document feed (ADF) as you may find that many of the documents you need to scan in are printed on both sides. 

Scanner/printer shown above is a Brother MFCJ6530DW 

Don't scan in two pages side-by-side

If you have a document in leaflet form - e.g. a single A3 sheet of paper folded in half to make a four page A4 sized leaflet - make sure you scan each page (rather than scanning two pages side by side) so that you produce a PDF containing four A4 pages (and not two A3 pages).

So don't scan it in like this

Scan it in like this


with any backsheet at the end.

Similarly, if you have a booklet consisting e.g. of 8 A4 pages made up of two folded A3 sheets stapled at the crease, make sure you scan each page so that you produce a PDF containing eight A4 pages (and not four A3 pages).

Method 4: Use a specialist bulk scanning scanning service

There are companies which provide a specialist service of taking boxes of documents and scanning them in as PDFs and providing the PDFs to you on a USB stick. Examples are Tradescanners and Legastat. If you use one of these services makes sure that they understand what your requirements are, paying particular attention to the following points.

1. Many customers want their documents to be shredded after scanning but you do not - so make sure that the company knows that the original documents are not to be shredded but are to be carefully preserved and returned to you after scanning for you to keep safely.

2. You want each document to be scanned into a single PDF - not multiple documents per PDF - with the PDF being given a meaningful name such as 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf  You need to tell them the name format you require. 

Once you have documents in PDF form you can load them to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above

Method 5: Use a high street print shop

Rather than use a specialist scanning company you could go to an ordinary high street print shop and ask them to scan in the documents for you. If you do this, however, you may find that they are not willing to automatically give the PDFs meaningful names based just on your explanation of the name format you require, but that they want you to put a post-it sticker on each document with the exact name that you require for that document (e.g. 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf). But if you have only a few documents that is no problem and the advantage of a high street print shop is that wherever you are there will be one not far away and generally they can scan documents in on the spot.   

Once you have documents in PDF form you can load them to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above

Load PDF copies of web pages to a Google Drive folder

If the contents of a web page is relevant to your case, you can make a PDF copy and load that to your Google Drive folder using the Save to Google Drive option of the Print function on Chrome on a Windows computer as shown in the examples here.

You may be thinking that instead of doing the above it would be easier just to send me a URL link to the web page but there are good reasons why you need to create a PDF rather than just send me the link. One reason is that, even though you may not be thinking of litigation at this stage, litigation at some point is always a possibility and you need to make sure that you have your own copies of all relevant web pages because their contents may change in the future. Also I need to be sure of what you are providing for me to look at - if you just send a link the page linked to may have other links and so on ad infinitum: you need to provide PDF copies of what the particular pages you are referring to contained when you looked at them. 

Load PDF copies of Street View images to a Google Drive folder

Make a PDF copy and load that to your Google Drive folder using the Save to Google Drive option of the Print function on Chrome on a Windows computer as shown in the example here.    

Load PDF copies of Google Earth images to a Google Drive folder

On a Windows computer, take a screen print (i.e. press ALT-Print Screen) of the image, paste the screen print into an app (e.g. Word) and save as a PDF as explained here. Then load the PDF to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above 

Load PDFs I send you to a Google Drive folder

Barristers do not investigate or collect evidence. The reason for this is that, if matters get to the stage of litigation, the way in which evidence was collected might need to be proved and a barrister cannot act as a witness in the same case as they act as advocate. For example what a website contained on a particular day might be disputed so if a PDF copy of a webpage needs to be taken, you need to take the copy so that you can, if necessary at trial, formally identify the copy and give evidence of what it is and the date on which you made the copy. Exceptionally, I might obtain a few documents direct from a statutory public register such as H M Land Registry or Companies House - in this case there is little risk that the way the document was obtained from the Land Registry or Companies House might become the subject of a dispute, because anyone can obtain a copy of the same document from the same public statutory register. 

If I obtain a document from a public statutory register in this way I may send it to you so that you can include it in the documents you load to your Google Drive folder so that you have all documents together. Although you will have given me access to your Google Drive folder I will not load PDFs direct to your Google Drive folder because Google Drive records the person who loaded a file as the "owner" of the file. At the end of a case I tap on the Remove button in Google Drive to remove my access to your Google Drive folder but if any of the documents in your Google Drive folder had actually been load by me (and were therefore recorded as "owned" by me) tapping Remove would actually delete them (not just remove my access to them). To avoid this problem I will send the documents to you so that you can load them so that you are recorded as the "owner".

Because I do not know what size limits your email system may have, I may not send the PDFs to you as email attachments but instead send you a Filemail link. When you receive my email, you can click on the link and the PDF thumbnails will be displayed. You can then click on each PDF in turn to download it to your device, then load the PDF from your device to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above

Check the date and title of all PDFs in a Google Drive folder and rename as necessary

Once you have loaded the PDFs to a Google Drive folder you need to rename any which do not already have a date prefix in yyyy-mm-dd format (or which do not have a useful description).

To rename a file, tap on it so that it is displayed and you can see the date in the document, like this:


Then select the more actions button (three vertical dots) and select Rename as shown below

Then type in a date of the document at the beginning of the document name in yyyy-mm-dd format (and if necessary amend the description) as shown below. 

  • For documents such as letters, the date of the document should be in the document itself and so will actually be displayed on the screen as you are typing in the document date and name into the rename box.
  • For non-digital photos, it is not always easy to know on what date they were taken. If you have some reason to know the exact date when a non-digital photo was taken then name it like this 1998-12-25 Photo of No 22 Garden but if (as is often the case) you do not know the exact date it was taken give an approximate date like this:
1992-01-01   Photo of No 22 garden - circa 1992  
1994-04-01   Photo of No 22 garden - circa spring 1994 
1995-08-01   Photo of No 22 garden - circa August 1995

Note 1: avoid phrases such as taken about nine years ago because by the time your case comes to court/tribunal (if matters go that far) time will have moved on making the description inaccurate.   

Note 2: You still need to put a full date (year, month, and day of month) at the start of the name - so that the photo appears in the (approximately) correct order after older documents and before newer documents - but the words at the end of the name make clear that that full date at the start is for sorting purposes only and is not intended to be the exact date it was taken.

  • Similarly for Google StreetView images where there is a month and a year shown but not the precise date:

2018-06-01   Street View Image of No 22 - circa June 2018 

Select OK to rename the file.

Then left swipe (or click the Next button on the right hand side of the screen if not using a touchscreen) to go to the next document and rename that if necessary, and carry on until all documents are correctly named. 

Once every document in your Google Drive folder has a date prefix in yyyy-mm-dd format they should appear in chronological order. as shown below 

Check that the documents do appear in chronological order

If any document appears out of order then that is probably because the date has not been entered in the correct format. The example below illustrates this. You can see that the document dated 25th March 2005 has a zero missing making it appear in the wrong place. Also the two documents at the bottom are out of sequence because the dates have mistakenly been entered in dd-mm-yyyy format rather than the correct yyyy-mm-dd format.

Check that the filename for each document is correct and meaningful

Check that the filename for each document is correct and meaningful and rename as necessary. The objective is that the description should be concise but should be sufficient to enable anyone to identify the document. So in the case of a letter, a concise description would indicate that the document is a letter and give the name of the sender and addressee:

2015-08-22   Letter John Smith to Paula Jones   

When typing in the document name bear in mind that later on you may be providing copies of documents as part of litigation, and the same description will eventually be used when documents are listed in a court/tribunal hearing bundle which contains both your documents and the other side’s documents, so use an objective description which will be, and will remain, meaningful to others and not just a description which is relative to you. For example do not use 

2006-05-29 Letter sent out

2006-05-29 Letter from me to John Smith

2006-05-29 Letter sent to John 

but rather:

2006-05-29 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith

Here are some other examples:

2016-02-27 Letter John Smith to Phillip Jones

2016-03-10 Memo John Smith to Phillip Jones

2016-03-21 Purchase Order 00012345 

2016-04-05 Invoice 00001452

2016-04-29 Agreement 

2016-05-19 Cheque 0005562

2016-05-29 Bank Statement John Low 01378256

Date of receipt of documents

The date at the front of the file name in yyyy-mm-dd form is always the date the document was created/signed. For most documents there is no need to indicate in addition, in brackets at the end of the file name, when a document was received by you but very occasionally this might be important.

Land Registry Official Copies

When the Land Registry provides an Official Copy of a document, it will either have a title page saying that the official copy follows this page or the document will be stamped on the first page with an Official Copy or Office Copy stamp, and on the first page should be a Title Number which will usually be in the form AB123456. Land Registry official copies like this can be named in the usual way commencing with the date of the document but the Title Number should be added after the date:

2010-05-11 AB123456 Transfer

2017-08-03 AB123456 Transfer

2017-10-27 AB123456 Transfer

2017-06-22 AB123456 Register of Title  

2017-06-22 AB123456 Title Plan

Planning Permission documents

Planning permission documents should be named starting with the planning application reference number and ending with the date:

2016-12345 Application Form 2016-05-16

2016-12345 Grant of Planning Permission 2017-03-20

2016-12345 Plan 106 Rev B 2016-05-16

2016-12345 Plan 112 Rev A 2016-05-16

The planning application number, which is allocated by the planning authority when an application is received, will consist of the year and a number allocated serially for applications received that year - e.g. 2016-12345. Sometimes, for administrative convenience, other letters and numbers are added by the planning authority so that the application reference is quite lengthy but for the purposes of naming the file it is only the year and serial number which is used. The full year number should always be used - i.e. even if the planning authority uses a shortened year number such as 16/123456, you should use the full year number 2016-123456 when naming the file.

Plans drawn up by architects to accompany the planning application will often only have a month and year on them (together with a drawing reference number) not a full date, but in most (not all) cases it is not really the date on which the architect drew the plan which is significant but the date on which the application form, which the plans were put forward in support of, was signed and sent to the planning authority, so you can use the application form date as the date of the accompanying plans.    


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in March 2019. Disclaimer