While last year I had a single New Year’s resolution (to smile more…), this year I have a long list of resolutions, a list too long to share. Yet I do want to share what is perhaps my favorite resolution on that list… to be more paperless. Personally. Professionally. In all aspects of my life.
Over the Christmas holidays, I was as usual schlepping what I have come to see as my mobile office, which includes a (dead) MacBook Air, a paper calendar, a binder full of papers to review, magazines and newspapers to read, and lots and lots of files of paper things I think I need. My sister-in-law’s raised eyebrows when she saw that reminded me of the importance of this resolution…
Why go paperless? There are a few reasons behind this desire of mine.
- Less to schlep around will be better for my posture and my back.
- Having less paper to carry around will make me lighter – literally, but also figuratively. I love the idea of being more weightless…
- Filing my papers as scans and other e-docs will make things easier to find (a computer’s search function has to be better than me going through 50. hanging folders to find that article I clipped from a magazine three years ago).
- Sharing documents will be easier and faster (an email versus making copies for everyone on my team).
- I will spend less money on binders, folders, hanging files, and other paper-related supplies.
- I love trees and going paperless is good for the environment.
As a side note, before dying, my MacBook Air was unable to connect to the very old printer we have in our office – meaning that I wasn’t able to print anything unless I forwarded it to my assistant to print. Needless to say, that technical difficulty helped me think in the direction of paperless… meaning I really should not have to be printing much anymore… (more cost savings: less ink usage).
Really, going paperless will be good for my health, my productivity, and my wallet. How could anyone argue?
In thinking about how to implement this resolution, I turned to an expert – my friend Kacy Paide of The Inspired Office. Not surprisingly, she is embracing the paperless route herself, and has even written an entire blog about how to go paperless. I am learning from her – read more here.
As a business owner, I also asked my accountant about the need to keep paper copies of bills, bank statements, tax filings, payroll reports, etc. Her answer: 6 years. Paper. Just in case. Here, I can’t (yet) escape paper.
I have to say that as of today, 9 days into the New Year, Evernote is indeed the app that is helping me implement this resolution (and overall making my life easier and more productive). This is definitely a process… not something that I can accomplish in a day. This process may take me all year, but it is well underway…