February 09, 2015

Reader question – How do I go paperless?

Photo by hyena reality
The beginning of the year is a good time to look at how you’ve been handling paper and to think about how you can reduce the amount of paper in your environment.
A reader asked, in preparation for filing income taxes, how to have a paperless home office.
I don’t know if it’s possible to be completely paper-free, so I suggest working toward having less paper.
The first step is to avoid having paper come in.
·  Get your name off junk-mail lists with the Direct Marketing Association’s online tool www.dmachoice.org/register.php.  
·  Reduce the amount of mail you receive by signing up for email notifications that your monthly statements are ready for downloading to your computer.
The next step is to scan loose paper that you want to keep.
·  Set up files on your computer that mirror your paper files.
·  Scan documents and “file” them in the appropriate folders.
·  Shred any sensitive information before you toss it.
Finally, have a schedule for moving paper out of your home and workspace.
·  Decide how long you will keep paper, depending upon its legal and/or financial necessity.
·  Create a schedule for clearing out your virtual files, as well.
Do you prefer to keep paper around or would you rather rely on digital files?
Organized by MarcieTM: Save time and money by letting go of  what you don't need and finding room for what you value

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