Snail mail, receipts, business cards, documents, product warranties, refrigerator artwork, business cards, kids’ schoolwork, take-out menus, random piles on your kitchen table…Ahh! We’re still burdened with an overage of paper stuff in this “digital” age.
How do we contain the madness? Can we go totally paperless? Maybe not. But, by starting a paperless habit, we’ll be able to control a good part of the madness.
I’ve starting by maintaining a paperless office. So, I thought to mention, especially if you’re planning on buying a house and/or preparing to sell your home, a few suggestions to help you go paperless – or at least semi-paperless so nothing gets lost in the move. And so you’ll have quick access to important documents relevant to your real estate transaction, like repair/improvement receipts, warranties, contracts, inspection files, and photos.
If you’re overwhelmed, start small, forget the past, and try going paperless from this point on. If you’d like to tackle the entire overage of paper clutter in a single sitting, I’m in awe. Either way, with a little time and effort, we (yes, we’re in this together) can start a good paperless habit.
Choose a mobile scanner app
First, you’ll want to choose a scanning app for your phone/tablet in which to store your documents (all that paper stuff I mentioned above). This may take a few minutes to search for an app and decide. I use EVERNOTE, and my latest find is Scannable (by EVERNOTE for iPhone/iPad), which converts whatever you scan into a JPEG or PDF. It’s awesome!
In the latest Rocky movie, Creed, the young boxer, Adonis, snaps a picture with his phone of Rocky’s training tips and then jogs away without the paper copy. So, you see? Even boxers are going paperless!
Practice paperless habits
Let’s minimize our paper life and…
- Decide what to clean up, and begin. (This is a BIG step! I started with a box of receipts).
- Get rid of the paper junk and see what’s left.
- Grab your phone/tablet and using the mobile scanner app you chose, start scanning your papers, docs, files, etc. (I create and name “Notebooks” in EVERNOTE to further organize my files).
- Recycle, throw out, or shred those papers you no longer need.
- Practice using your storage app over the next few months (to hone that paperless habit).
- Access your files anytime, anywhere (on your phone, tablet, or PC).
- Tell yourself what a great job you’ve done!
Live a paperless life
Set aside time: choosing an app, sorting through papers, scanning, naming, and saving those digital copies takes a little patience and practice. But, once you start living with less paper clutter you’ll feel more accomplished, clear-headed, and successful (results may vary).
Have a geek day.