How About We Go Paperless

For so long I have blogged about your papers and how best to file them, store them, get control of them.

This blog is going to focus on Going Paperless! So have you ever thought of just throwing caution to the wind and not keeping papers? So hang on to your britches kids we are going to learn how you can just scan and save!

Depending on how far back you want to go and scan papers, the process is quite easy, but can be time consuming initially.

The world of technology has reduced a remarkable amount of paper clutter in my home office.

Here are things to keep on your computer:

  • Calendar  – schedule birthdays and anniversaries to repeat every year. I use Google or ical, they sync
  • Address book  – have everything on your cell phone
  • Photos – keep them electronically in folders
  • Shopping Lists – I use an app called www.OurGroceries.com
  • Documents – sign up to receive statements and bills online, and scanning reduces this even more.
  • Recipes – I have all my personal recipes saved in a folder called My Recipes and then into sections: breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, dessert, etc.,
  • Financial records – Banking, investments, taxes, etc.
  • Books – I use a reader, there are many out there to choose from, I use Kindle Paper White and love it. (donate old books)

8 Ways to Go Paperless:

  1. Start with the most current incoming papers.  You don’t have to do it all at once.  It takes an investment of time to scan old papers.  You can simply wait and then gradually discard the old paper files when you don’t need them anymore.
  2. Don’t use your printer.  Instead of using up ink and paper, choose the “print to pdf” feature if you need to save something you found on a web page.
  3. Decide what you will use for scanning.  I have a very basic scanner type thing, an all in one, but if you have a lot of papers, it may be worth investing in a scanner with speed.
  4. Give your documents descriptive names, and try to be consistent.  I try to include a date in the label, and I do it in this style: “2018TaxReturn”.  Any list of documents will always stay in chronological order and the standard name format makes it easier to find them.
  5. Plan how will you find them later.  Some people like to sort documents into a structured folder system.  I Create a main folder for each category (Financials, Home, Auto, Recipes, etc) and then subcategories such as type of car, type of financial records, etc.
  6. PLEASE Back up your computer or save to the cloud for easy retrieval.  You can also try to save in two places so there is a back-up of your back-up.
  7. Scanning. Start your scanning process, pick a day of the week to scan.
  8. Don’t worry about scanning temporary files.  Focus on the documents you want to keep long-term, and toss the papers that are temporary.

The thing I love most about keeping papers online is that I can access them from anywhere. It will be on my phone, my laptop and my ipad. I back up everything to the cloud and have no worries about losing any data.

If you have questions about storing your documents please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment for a virtual session!

About lisagessert

Professional Organizer/Productivity Consultant - Connect with me to see how your time and space can be more efficient for you! 917.887.8672
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9 Responses to How About We Go Paperless

  1. Going paperless can be a scary thing. I love your step-by-step approach and your examples of how you maintain your files.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are in the process, although not for everything. I still like my paper calendar – it works regardless of wifi! That said, it’s hard to beat the ease and search-ability of digital files, not to mention the space saving!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely straddle the two worlds- digital and paper. I’m not sure I will ever be 100% paper free, but for the many reasons you said, along with it being more environmentally friendly, I know it’s a good goal to work towards. The approach you suggest makes it feel more doable because you don’t have to do it all at once.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janet Barclay says:

    I would love to go paperless – or at least use less paper – but my husband, who is also my bookkeeper insists on hard copies of everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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