Going paperless…

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.

  1. Less to schlep around will be better for my posture and my back.
  2. Having less paper to carry around will make me lighter – literally, but also figuratively. I love the idea of being more weightless…
  3. 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).
  4. Sharing documents will be easier and faster (an email versus making copies for everyone on my team).
  5. I will spend less money on binders, folders, hanging files, and other paper-related supplies.
  6. 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…