Recently, I have decided to go paperless. This was a hard decision to come to for many reasons: 1) I am a bit paranoid and fear my digital documents will be lost, corrupted or stolen 2) I have an obsessive attachment with paper 3) I can’t imagine life without a 50lb laptop messenger bag full of junk.
However, I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I’ve spent more time, staring at paper, shredding paper, organizing paper, sorting paper and recycling paper than I would ever care to admit. It’s got to go! At least, what is not absolutely necessary, must go! So, I have made some progress in the right direction, as well as taken advantage of some fun apps to help me improve my paperless peace of mind.
- I converted several 3″ binders containing policies and guidance into organized pdf files. Some of these were available in hard-copy only so I manually scanned them on our lexmark copier to a pdf text file (300 dpi recommended). This printer also scans directly to a flash drive which is nice. I also scanned archival files for personnel, programs and activities that are no longer active.
- I stopped using post-its! I force myself to limit my brain tangents to the notes section of my daily calendar. I also use a fun litte app called Clear to track my To-Do’s. I DO use post-its to write notes or instructions on documents but they are NOT cluttering up my workspace!
- I’ve instituted organization Friday! I shred papers, properly sort electronic folders, and scan inactive files.
- I scanned business cards to CamCard. I tried to be very merciless with this. I have well over 100 business cards from people I haven’t contacted once! I am still sorting through them. So far I have scanned about 10.
- I’m reducing junk mail using Paper Karma. Every time a new catalogue comes in, I take a photo and Paper Karma unsubscribes me from the mailing list. This was very hard since I am very attached to my catalogues. However, they are unnecessary. If I really want to buy something, I will seek it out!
- I uploaded rewards/loyalty program cards to Key Ring. Are you drowning in Safeway, CVS, Hyatt, United Mileage Plus and a million other membership cards?! This is a great app for that. I keep the originals in a plastic bag in my filing cabinet but I don’t carry them around.
- I use Mint to track and manage my budget. It tracks all transactions so I dont have to go to each bank site and I have no need for statements. Its very sortable and user friendly. This service takes some commitment to get started, but boy is it great! I also receive paperless statements for 90% of my recurring bills.
- I track personal, professional and charitable vehicle mileage using Trip Cubby. No more paper logs! I can export monthly excel reports to file in my tax folder.
- I’ve found Dropbox to be a great service for storing must-have documents. My Dropbox folder can be accessed from all of my devices or online. Also, the documents are easy to share with others. I used to carry around sheet music, bible studies, event calendars, phone lists, you name it! Now all files are easily stored for quick access.
I have kept ONE thing though. I can’t let go of my Moleskine journal! I just can’t journal on an iPhone; I’m not there yet.
So there you have it! Life is good! Perhaps I’ll check-in a couple months down the road and let you know how it’s going 🙂