After reading the comments from previous weeks’ articles on home planning, it appears to be a lot of folks are thinking about living the paperless way of life. However, as you can probably imagine, no matter how much you really need paper from your life, receipts, bills and business cards will still make their way in your home. So it’s crucial to handle them by creating effective but simple systems for easy access later.
Placing an active filing zoneDeciding the way you’re digitize your paperMaking sure you back everything upYou’ll also need a strategy for properly disposing of paperwork which now exists in the digital world.
Jeri Koegel Photography
It’d be great if I had the discipline to scan paperwork as it comes, however I don’t. I also don’t have time to open up the scanner and record things away one by one. So I have made a place for “active files” to corral my paperwork prior to the lot gets scanned and digitally recorded.
And as you may be organized into some T (and therefore likely to skip this step), I think it’s important for one reason: Taking a second for your busy filing will help clue you in as to what needs to be scanned and everything could be recycled, preventing the custom of attempting to scan each record that comes in.
For example, after a couple weeks, I know I am not likely to return my Banana Republic shirt, and I can now recycle the reception. Or perhaps I have determined I don’t really require the pamphlet for my newest organizing conference. You get the picture.
What to Contain Energetic Filing
It may be as simple as having a “To Scan” file folder which you process once each week to twice a month. I’ll usually process this file folder when I really have time to scan the things inside. Anything deemed irrelevant or no longer needed gets recycled or stained. The rest gets scanned.
Other files you could create: “To Do,” “Pending,” and some other project-related newspapers that require a spot to land.
I tend to think vertical when looking for a spot to store my busy files, and utilize hanging wall pockets. It is possible to use the interior of a cabinet door or the corner of a wall socket.
Mark Newman Design
Flatbed scanners: You probably already have a flatbed scanner in your home; mine arrived as an all-in-one together with my printer a few decades back. And while those scanners work just fine for digitizing active newspapers on a weekly basis, you will probably die of boredom if you tried scanning your backlog of paperwork with those dinosaurs.
Sheet-fed scanners: If you’re seriously interested in going paperless and have tons of photos, business cards and newspaper which require digital archiving, then you will want to have a scanner that is thick. Normally compact in size, most take 25 to 50 pages at once. Here are my top faves.Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M is owned by me. It is a scanning monster and also can capture double-sided paper. These scanners also utilize technology called OCR, which permits you to search handwritten or typed files as soon as they are scanned.NeatReceipts makes scanners compatible with PC and Mac users, with a portable or desktop variant available.If you’re saying, “Bah, humbug” to scanning, you may always send off your paperwork to be flashed. I have clients who love 1DollarScan and Shoeboxed. The investment is significantly less than buying a scanner but may accumulate over time. It depends on the circumstance. Will the newspaper get scanned only if you pay someone else to get it done? Answer this issue before spending the big bucks on a new scanner.
If you don’t anticipate your backup system, you’re bound to maintain the paper copy as a reinforcement, which negates the purpose of scanning everything in the first location.
Mac machines finally have a program called Time Machine which will automatically back up your data to an external hard drive.If you are using only an external hard drive to back up, you may think about having a backup external hard disk drive saved away from your computer. I’d suggest a safe or something comparable. If something bad happens to a computer, it might also occur to your external hard disk drive, so it’s best to have a backup of your backup.I strongly suggest also backing up your data into the cloud. Not only will your data be safe if something happens to a personal computer, but you are able to get your files from anywhere.My personal favorite cloud programs are DropBox, Evernote and iCloud — all free.
Isolina Mallon Interiors
Disposing of your sensitive files is key to finishing up the paperless process. If you don’t need to purchase a shredder (or refuse to discover a spot to conceal this eyesore) there are loads of shredding tools out there.Most office supply stores offer shredding services for approximately 75 cents per pound. With most file boxes weighing 5 to 15 lbs. When filled with newspaper, it’s not a bad idea to have someone do it for you.Most large cities host shredding events where you could bring approximately five boxes of newspaper to be ruined. Do some research and find out what you can find.The Automobile Club of Southern California generally offers one or two totally free shredding events per year.
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