NOTE#1: This is a repeat article from a year or so ago. The question arose again today because of an email message from a newsletter reader. I suspect other people have similar questions so I decided to re-publish this article again for those (unknown) people.
NOTE#2: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related information, I suggest you skip this article.
NOTE#3: For me, this has almost become a new religion: I try to avoid as much printing as possible. Instead, I publish to PDF files (and occasional other formats) and save it to a private space I pay for in the cloud. As a result, I can quickly and easily find anything, even years later, by searching for it electronically. This works even when I am traveling overseas. I find it faster and easier to search for things electronically rather than pawing through reams of paper.
If you have been reading this newsletter for a while, you probably already know that I am a fanatic for going paperless. Life without paper is good! Also, life without paper can save a lot of time and frustration when later trying to locate and retrieve items.
For instance, a few months ago, I traveled and stayed in a hotel room in Anchorage, Alaska. If I wanted a document or some other bit of information I saved in an earlier week or even in an earlier year, I could quickly retrieve it from my paperless filing system, even from Alaska. Try doing that with paper! To retrieve anything from paper files when needed, I would need to carry a 4-drawer or larger filing cabinet as my carry-on luggage on the plane!
Aaron Couch published an article on the MakeUseOf web site several years ago that describes the easier ways to convert to a paperless existence. Admittedly, I only found the article recently and am impressed with it.
“Paperless – a term that is used quite often now days. But what does it mean? And to what extent does it apply? Certainly we all still use paper to some degree despite the advancements in technology, so how can we go completely paperless?
“Well, the truth is, there will likely always be some form of paper, but the problem doesn’t lie in using paper itself, but instead having awareness for the amount used and methods of which it is being used for.”
He then describes:
Alternatives To Printing & Paper Notes
Print To PDF
Save As WWF, Save A Tree
Electronically Sign Documents
Use Your Smartphone For Notes
Clip Webpages Instead Of Printing Them
Cutting Down On [Snail] Mail
Get Your Bank Statements Via Email
Fill Out Forms Online
Email Invoices (For Businesses)
Get Your News & Information Online
Unsubscribe From Mailing Lists
Pay Your Bills Online
Scan Existing & New Documents
Use A File Organizer, Preferably With OCR
Sync Your Documents Across All Devices
Conclusion: Helpful Methods To Adopt
If you would like to simplify your life, start by reading The Future Is Here – Your Guide to Having a Paperless Life Today by Aaron Couch at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/future-guide-paperless-life-today/. A related video, How to go Paperless with a Digital Filing System, can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7VJopCHem0.
Also see my earlier article, Possibly the Best (?) Document Scanner for Home and Office Use, at: https://www.eogn.com/page-18080/12284742.