How to Go Paperless
Have you ever dreamed of going paperless, but you don’t know where to start? Well, I am gonna show you step-by-step how to go paperless and get rid of those piles and stacks once and for all.
Don’t Let The Junk Mail in the House
I have a recycling bin where I put everything. I know I’m not interested in before I really even get in the door. I have one designated space for the rest of the incoming papers.
Apply Touch It Once Rule
If I read a permission slip, and then I put it down, when I pick it up later, I have to read it all over again. That means I am going to need twice the time to deal with it. So if I touch it once, I maximize my efficiency. The touch it once rule goes for bills – or better yet, sign up for an online bill manager service like Manila.
Remember, no paper bills mean no paper piles okay, so that takes care of the stuff used to sit around. But what about things like insurance information or old receipts or the kids’ report cards? You want to keep that stuff, but you don’t want it out. And around, so you shove it in a folder right?
Paperless, that’s the goal all right; it’s time to bring in the must-have pieces of equipment to get this job done. First, a scanner.
Get a Scanner
I use a Fujitsu scansnap 1300. It’s nicely designed and compact, so it doesn’t take up a lot of counter space. But it can handle a surprisingly large amount of pages, and it does two-sided scans, which is a huge time-saver.
The scansnap manager software is easy to install and allows you to send scanned items to various places like email directly to Evernote, a folder on your desktop, or dropbox. Warning scanning may be addictive.
You Need a Shredder
So now you’ve scanned most of the paper lying around your house. Which brings me to the other important weapon in the war against the paper. The shredder; they come in so many shapes and sizes, and at all different price points. I have one that ran me about 60 bucks.
You’re gonna want to get one that at least fits a regular eight-and-a-half by 11 sheets of paper. And ideally, you want one that fits at least five sheets. Otherwise, shredding can be like watching paint dry.
It may make a thunderous grinding sound at the drive, and then one will look at how thin it shreds because shredders don’t just help you go paperless, it protects your privacy. I may be overly cautious, but I tend to shred anything with my name and address on it, especially credit card applications.
Oh, and this is important; you should always have your shredder in the room where you handle all your incoming mail and paper processing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a to be shredded pile somewhere in your house, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid.
In a nutshell, you have to keep junk mail out of your house, deal with papers immediately, scan it shred it and say bye-bye papers!