Go Paperless

posted by Andrea | 08/4/2010

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We are a society of digital technology. So you would think, with all our technology, we could also figure out a way to be a paper-free society — right?

I like to think that we are a paper-free house, but unfortunately that’s not always true! Even though I would say I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to paper, we still end up with a few stacks of paper on our kitchen counters, on my desk, in the newspaper pile, etc. etc.

Some of OUR every-day sources of paper clutter include mail, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, fliers, insurance paperwork, papers from church, papers from school, and the list goes on!

Paper is something I deal with every day to stay on top of it. Can you relate?

So what can you do to be more paperless?

1. Don’t print your email.

I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but it happens more than you think. Set up files or folders within your email Inbox and store important emails there…not on paper.

2. Switch to paperless statements.

Contact your credit card companies, banks, utility companies, and other financial services and request paperless statements. They will send your statements via e-mail and you can store them in the newly-organized folders in your Inbox! Sometimes you can even get a better interest rate or additional perks for going paperless!

3. Subscribe to Newspapers and Magazines Online.

Many print publications are also available (for a reduced rate) through an on-line subscription. Go to your publication’s website and see if they offer it. You will still get the same content…just with less clutter!

4. Find Owner’s Manuals Online.

When you purchase something that comes with a manual, visit the manufacturer’s website and check to see if you can download the manual instead. Then, create a folder on your computer labeled “Owner’s Manuals” and trash your paper copies.

4. Create a Digital Recipe Box.

Subscribe for a FREE service over at AllRecipes.com.  Then search through thousands of recipes to find ones you love and store them in your digital recipe box. The next time you need a recipe, just log onto their site.

5. Store Pictures Digitally.

Only print the pictures you love and keep the rest on a portable storage drive, or on CD’s. It’s OK to take lots of pictures, but printing ALL of them is just a waste of time, space, and money. I take this one step further by creating digital photo albums. Check out Blurb.com for more information.

6. Scan documents into Your Computer.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you can get in the habit of scanning your receipts and other document into your computer (and organizing them so you can find them again), you will nearly eliminate all the rest of your paper.

Even though our society as a whole has not taken the paperless route — YOU CAN!

Implement a few of these basic ideas today. You’ll save yourself a bunch of stress and gobs of paper. Maybe you’ll save a forest in the process!

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3 comments

  1. Shelley Daun

    09/22/2010

    I too, seek to become paperless, and I too find that papersstill liter my apartment daily. I really liked your ideas to becoming a paperless household, especially scanning existing documents and saving them as files. What a great way to eliminate what has already accumulated. I am actually currently doing this with AboutOne.com. It is a service dedicated to making our lives paperless, organized, and less complicated. In little time I was able to enter personal, contact, education, and personal assets information. AboutOne organized the information for me, and keeps it safe online, and I can print out the information as needed. So, step-by-step, I can become a paperless household as well.

    http://www.AboutOne.com

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  2. Patty Gardner

    02/01/2012

    I have really been trying to go paperless! Besides saving space and paper, I find it’s a lot easier for me to find information. I have ADHD so filing is a challenge for me. I can usually think of at least 3 different categories for each paper so when it’s time to find something, I don’t know what to look under. When I scan documents, I can put them in multiple places or just do a search.

    But I can’t bear to throw away (shred, actually) the paper copies. At first I was just dropping them in a box for the year. I figured if I needed a hard copy, I could dig through and find it. But then I missed my old system and started scanning plus filing. I really need to go paperless all the way. It really is easier. But old habits die hard!

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  3. Diana

    08/03/2013

    I use my phone and Evernote to make digital copies of recipes, receipts and other documentation and then file them in folders in Evernote. They are accessible from any Internet connected computer without fear of losing them. Tag the digital copies and make notes and you will never be searching for paper again.

    Diana

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