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This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  lifekeepshappening 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #160173

    I’m gonna bite the bullet and do this.

    In 2011, I did a major sort of paperwork. Burned through 2 shredders, got all bills/banks to go paperless, made major efforts to sign off from all junk mail lists etc, downloaded most manuals, organized the rest into a fire/flood safe and a portable filebox. Also have a folder in the kitchen for recipes and a folder of appliance manuals that stay with the house. Everything is color coded and whatnot, bought a cross cut shredder that is used daily. Super system, but I still hate the little stack of papers that need filing.

    This year I started another filebox for DD’s many disability papers, but then ex-DH suggested we share PDFs of all her paperwork on CareZone, which is sensible.

    Spurred on by ATaylor’s recent move to paperless (shared on the before/after thread) and my experiences in document/data management and the fact that I cannot easily scan anything to PDF unless I replace my scanner, I aim to take the Paper Bull by the horns and get this thing done. Tentative finish date is end of 2012.

    Step 1: get a scanner with PDF (and OCR?) capability. I’ve compared ScanSnap and Doxie so far. I think Doxie would be enough (though this might be like my first two shredders).

    Step 2: Figure out consistent categories (my paper filing has a different hierarchy to my computer filing – because they’re different types of information).

    Step 3: Sort/rename computer files.

    Step 4: Scan paper and name consistently.

    Step 5: Back up.

    Step 6: Shred what can be shredded.

    Step 7: Feel smug scanning/shredding new stuff until I need something on paper.

    I’m sure I’ve missed something. What else would you do?

  • #224874

    bandicoot
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    i have made a major move in this direction recently.
    i moved all of my invoicing online 18 months ago, but my elderly (and fabulous) bookkeeper was still insisting on printed copies.
    one day she wanted a heap that i had failed to print out. she lives 75 km away and i wasn’t going there for another week.
    i emailed her my log in and password, asked her to scroll through the invoices for the info she required for the quarterly tax.
    after a few days, she emailed me back to say she didn’t need printed copies any longer, now that she could see how it was all at her fingertips online.
    she is in her seventies, and this is all very new to her
    the day she emailed me her own invoice, i stood up and cheered!

  • #224915

    Going Paperless-ish

    Thank you everyone. I’ve signed up for Dropbox for offsite back up and will give that a whirl. You’d imagine that living in Tornado Alley and having lost everything in a twister I would be the first person to want my data stored offsite.

    Duh.

    I’m very encouraged that other people are finding paperless to be more acceptable than a few years ago. That’s good news.

    Gonna order the Doxie tomorrow and sort out my hierarchy (Klutzgirl I promise to write it down until I know what I’m doing!)

  • #224929

    Xiro
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    I have done the same with as much as possible, I do not want files and real paper when it is not needed so everything is digital with backups aside from what has to be original.

  • #224945

    xhan
    Participant

    Going Paperless-ish

    I’m attempting the same thing.

    advice for Step 3 – Once you’ve decided on a file structure – stick to it. Its a pain reorganising 3 years later. (just done that!)

  • #224947

    xhan
    Participant

    Going Paperless-ish

    I’m attempting the same thing.

    advice for Step 3 – Once you’ve decided on a file structure – stick to it. Its a pain reorganising 3 years later. (just done that!)

  • #225243

    s
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    I don’t know Doxie, but I love my ScanSnap!

  • #225249

    chacha1
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    I’m about 80% paperless and it is a fine thing. I cheat and do my scanning at the office where I work (why buy a high-quality scanner for home when there’s a better one where I spend 40 hours a week?).

    I bought Nuance PDF Converter software because I use PDFs a lot of different ways. It’s a great product with high ease of use (we also use it at the office).

    For backups I’m now with BackBlaze, and it is SUCH a relief. I went several years depending on the DH to run a manual backup to a parallel hard drive, ugh.

  • #225260

    Sky
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    I pay my bills online and rarely print out receipts but haven’t scanned anything to my computer. I would like to be paperless 100% but not sure I can.

  • #225357

    JayEff
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    I found that going paperless is best viewed in two parts, past and future paper.

    First, start with the future. Eliminate or minimize incoming paper clutter going forward. Get documents online, such as bills, bank statements, insurance statements; print documents, such as online order confirmations, to pdf, not to paper; etc. If you have a paper document, scan it with your new scanner.

    Now, the past. Review your old papers. See if any of the documents are available online. Shred/throw away papers that you do not need anymore. Be ruthless. If the remaining papers are not already organized, I would not worry about it. Just scan them in large piles as pdfs. If you need a document, you can look for it on the computer later.

  • #225375

    Barbs
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    @JayEff – That is helpful! I am trying not to think about paper too much yet because I have so much other stuff to deal with but I can certainly deal better with stuff coming in right now.

  • #225391

    Sky
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    JayEff, I actually do that for the future but I need to work on the past. Thanks for your suggestions.

  • #225407

    Going Paperless-ish

    My scansnap has arrived. No time yet to plug it in and get started, but still need to get my naming strategy straight before I begin.

    I’m comparing Dropbox and Skydrive for cloud storage. Dropbox has the advantage of working on my android phone, Skydrive has the advantage of all the MS Office files working on my non-Office notebook, but has no android app. Googledrive is already out of the running.

    I don’t have all that much existing paperwork to scan (umm… 3 file boxes and a large workers compensation dossier!) I like JayEff’s suggestion of splitting scanning into past and future.

    I feel this is totally do-able in one month. We’ll see how overambitious that is as the month goes on!!

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions 🙂

  • #225566

    Going Paperless-ish

    Ahhh Scansnap, how I love thee!

    What a fabulous little machine. I started scanning stuff today – just the topmost pile of papercrap on my desk. It’s light years easier than my old flatbed that only scanned to jpg and required a dozen clicks to request and confirm each new page.

  • #226362

    Going Paperless-ish

    Update: finally figured my file naming convention. Old stuff may not get renamed. I’m scanning as things come into the house, but that is actually taking more time than sliding papers into a manilla folder. The only time it’s coming in handy to have stuff scanned is when I need to print out full copies of guardianship papers for yet another doctor or bank.

    Also, I’ve gone back and forth between skydrive and dropbox. I have device issues with both. I hate whatever the google one is currently called. sigh. I want skydrive, but the app doesn’t work on my android model and the desktop app won’t download onto one of my laptops. URG!

    I’ve drastically reduced my online stuffage. It didn’t really ever bother me, but I’m trying to align the paper and the digital stuff and so have been hitting delete whenever I come across something ancient, irrelevant or just dumb.

  • #226368

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    It is a shame that our desire to reduce paper waste seems to coincide with the biller’s decision to send more paper with every account.

    I received our water bill yesterday and it was an A4 sheet, there was another A4 sheet showing our daily household water consumption and showing us how to divide it by the number of people in the house (Duh much!!) and a six segment glossy brochure about what is being done to minimise water wastage. Did they think of all the water required to create the paper for this use?

    I also think we need to be careful to keep that digital clutter. Keep it current and delete regularly.

  • #226370

    irishbell
    Member

    Going Paperless-ish

    Jtt, that is nuts.
    Our water bill is one if the few that we can’t get paperless just yet, but it is only a postcard, no envelope or nothin’.

  • #226475

    Going Paperless-ish

    yes, ataylor, I figured long file names may help. By the time I’ve got the date and family member initial, I’m already pretty far in. I still go the long way round on searching for documents by opening different folders to see where it might be instead of just asking the computer to find it. I’ll get there!

    Skydrive is driving me nuts. Dropbox was a simple drag and drop all your folders affair, but Skydrive will only transfer files, not folders. I just need to do this as a 15 minutes a day thing until they’re all in place.

    I happily shredded my car financing statements yesterday. I paid the car off several months ago and have finally updated the title 🙂

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