Paperless is a term that has been thrown around for awhile now, and although it sounds easy to convert your paper-filled office into a paperless piece of art, it does take some time and planning to figure out a way to implement a paperless system that not only works for you but is easy for you to keep up. It has to be easy and convenient for you because there is no point in starting the system if you don’t consistently keep up and maintain it. Below are 5 tips that will help you get started on your paperless ways.
1) Remove your name from mailing lists and opt out of credit card offers. Think about how much junk mail you get on a daily basis. Cutting this out alone will reduce the amount of paper in your house tremendously. Below is a link that has directions on how to take your name off these lists.
2) Pay the bills online. Even better, set up automatic bill pay! This is great because you will never be late for a bill again. However, it is very important to review your statements monthly to confirm all charges and nothing looks fishy.
3) Scan what is necessary. Don’t focus on short term files that you only need for a month or so. Scan only the long term files that you will need for a couple years. This helps to keep you paperless storage system manageable.
4) Be printer cautious. Not every email, article, or document has to be printed. This defeats the entire purpose of being paperless if you are constantly printing. Your computer has a file system within itself. Make new folders and start storing documents in the correct folders.
5) Back up! Do not forget to back up your digital information. There are many ways you can back up your devices. An external hard drive is a classic but a favorite. Keeps it in a “tangible” form. Or there is also a cloud system. The cloud is nice if you are constantly switching from device from device. Either way is great, you just have to find what works best for you.
With these steps you will easily be on your way to a paperless system in no time. Remember it is all about finding a system that works for you, one that you can set up, use, and maintain. Don’t be afraid to try new things if certain systems aren’t working. And don’t get discouraged. Changing something you have been using for years is difficult.