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Remember how you made that New Year resolution to go paperless? Yeah, me neither.
The term “paperless” has been going around the internet for a while now. Despite the many benefits of recycling, the paperless brigade hasn’t quite kicked off in a spectacular fashion. It is possible to go truly paperless and digitize nearly every last scrap of paper, and it’s a lot easier than you might think, as long as you approach it in the right way. These tips will help you take paper out of your life, and make it stay out. Now, and forever.
1. Sift and sort ruthlessly
Sifting through paperwork accumulated over the ages is a mammoth task that will take you the better part of two full days. While this is indeed a dreary and dull task, the rewards are blissfully satisfying. Watching your mountains of paper disappear before your eyes is more peaceful than it seems. Once you get a rhythm going you’ll soon realize what kind of document you might want to keep and what kind are practically useless.
2. The Archive Armageddon
Scanning your documents can be quite the task, and while this isn’t exactly the most exciting way to spend the weekend or a day off, this must be done. It is perhaps the most crucial step in going paperless. Divide it into three categories:-
Invest in a good-quality scanner
Doxie and Neat are new brands of scanner that are specifically designed to make scanning multiple documents easily. They’re hand-held and sleek, making it a good investment if you don’t already own a scanner. If you do, though, standard scanners on printers are fine for the job.
Name your documents something specific and keep them organized so that your computer desktop doesn’t become as cluttered as your real desktop. Use keywords that you’re bound to remember and if you have a really bad memory use a database software to tag your documents and ensure they’ll always be found.
The backup bonanza
No archiving frenzy can be complete without backing the files up. This is an essential step as it keeps your documents safe and away from prying eyes. If you’re old schooled invest in an external hard drive. The advantages to this are twofold. Firstly you’ll be creating a secure copy of your files. Secondly you would be creating an air gap i.e ensuring no hacker can get to it. If, however you prefer the cloud approach, there are plenty of cloud services that offer free storage.
3. Digital Delight!
Going digital can take a huge load off your back, literally. Trend savvy CEOs and environmentalists have been pushing for complete digitization for ages. While this hasn’t quite occurred, majority of the things have been digitized and it’s time you take advantage of them.
There isn’t a bank in the world that doesn’t offer online banking services and if your bank doesn’t then perhaps it’s time you switched. These online services include E-bills, E-statements, money transfer and much more to ensure that you will never have to see a physical bill again.
No risk notes
With apps like Evernote on the rise. College students and professionals alike are rapidly flocking to such apps for all their note needs. With nifty features like backing up to a cloud, categorizing, tagging and sharing, digital notes are here to stay.
Following these tips will help you save time and money and when you reduce your paper inputs and outputs, and you also help make a difference in the number of trees cut down annually. And if all that isn’t enough, one look at your neat desk will convince you that this step towards a healthy e-life was the way to go!
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