PLANNING SIMPLIFY

How To Reduce Almost All Of Your Paper Clutter

a wooden desk with a laptop, cup of coffee, smart phone, notepad and pen

We keep all sorts of documents and pieces of paper for future reference, that we possibly may never use.  The simplest and easiest way to reduce the paper clutter is with a digital scanner phone app. All you have to do is take a picture and store it in an online filing system. No more shelves full of files, but you still have information on hand whenever you need it.   

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PAPER I DON’T KEEP EVER

I have been storing 95% of my documents in an online filing system for nearly 4 years and haven’t seen any negative impact from doing so.  You can reduce paper clutter by storing the following online. I have never had to keep the original because it is still available to print off if I ever needed to.  Which I haven’t. 

  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Records
  • Reports
  • Recipes
  • Images
  • Business Cards
  • Ebooks
  • Letters
  • Manuals
  • Goals
  • Planning
  • Notes

THE ONLY PAPER I KEEP:

1. Our important legal documents

  • passports
  • marriage/birth certificates
  • wills
  • deeds, trust documents 

2. An A4 stand-up document file for current household information;

  • newsletters
  • school notices
  • invitations
  • current bills to pay

HOW TO STORE YOUR DOCUMENTS ONLINE

It’s a 2-minute job to scan a copy of your document, save it to your preferred online storage, then throw away the piece of paper. 

You can use Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. I personally use Evernote because it has a really good search feature for finding documents.  By using the Scanner Pro app. it can read the text from within the document.  You can scan any of the documents mentioned above using the Scanner Pro app for your mobile phone, take a picture, label it and you can have it automatically sent to Evernote.  

Evernote’s point of difference from other programmes I have found, is in its sorting, storing and referencing options.  I can tag each document according to what or who it relates to,  E.g. holidays, insurance, or Christmas, for example, or by a specific person’s name. It is very simple to search a specific word, such as ‘birth certificate’ or ‘carrot cake’ and all the notes named or tagged with that topic will show for you to view and choose from.  Evernote specialises in keeping files labelled, organised and tidy.