The last few months, I’ve been focused on a couple big consulting gigs and projects. All of them have had me doing a lot of research, building, breaking, testing, and hanging in a lot of discomfort. And I’ve loved every stinking second of it. I’m in an LTR with technology.  I’m ripe with a lot of thinking and playing and am excited to be back in the blogosphere with chic-geek talk for the masses.

Today’s topic: going paperless.

Do it. You’ll feel lighter in life. I guarantee it. “Why?” you ask.

WHY NOT?!

Even the IRS accepts scanned receipts these days. If the IRS can do it, surely you can too right? (Click here for source.)

Tools needed are

  • scanner (mobile or machine)
  • shredder
  • a process with a dash of discipline

The process is simple.

  1. Pick up mail each day, get bits of papers from various appointments and meetings.
  2. Scan it as soon as you walk in the door.
  3. Shred (or keep a shredding basket next to your scanner).
  4. Save to a folder and name properly (I usually do this every Friday when I don't want to work but want to be productive).
  5. Repeat.

If you are paperless for some bills, make a date with yourself once-a-month to download  these statements. And sometimes people don't like to shred (step #3) until they are sure their scanned copy is legit (step #4). Since I use a mobile app most of the time, I can see the level of detail and feel comfortable shredding pretty fast.

Yes, sometimes you have to keep a piece of paper for different reasons and if that is the case, put it in a manila folder, deal with it, scan it, and shred it.

I can't help but get a little philosophical. Paper = less clutter = happier mind, in my opinion. Real estate - physical and mental - allows for space for things to change and happen. I liken paper files to plants. Often we put plants in pots that are too small and cannot accommodate its roots. It is not until we pull it out of the pot that we see its roots, cramped and intertwined and probably sad. When we re-pot these plants, its roots are happy, yielding a more beautiful above-soil sitch. When we have excess we drag around this world with us, it weighs us down whether or not we know it. Paper has a tendency to overgrow in our lives. We save them in nooks and crannies, leaving it in holding pattern that often never ends. We need to step out of the holding pattern, deal with the pieces of paper and everything that goes with it, and move forward in our lives. Going digital propels this process forward. These minor tweaks do something for us, I did it in 2011 and I have not looked back.

Last week, I moved out of my office. It was quick and fast. Packed in two hours, movers showed up, and off it all went. I was all done by lunch and even had enough time to get a mani/pedi before I went back to working! One of the big reasons it was so fast was because I didn’t have file cabinets. All that was in my office were desks and computers and a couple reference books. Super simple.

Need inspiration. Check out these scanners: CamScanner for iPhones and Androids and the Doxie. I heart both for different reasons.

Onwards. Save and shred responsibly.

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