A big thing for me is getting and keeping my home documents organized. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to accomplish this once and for all. Back in 2008 there was an article in the New York Times about an engineering director at Google who had gone paperless. This sparked an idea for me. I am determined to go paperless.
For Christmas I asked for, and received a desktop scanner. I thought if I had something that was convenient to use, it would help me to keep my resolve to go paperless. I also want to make sure that I have a reliable backup system. If I’m going to put important documents on my computer, I want to know that they are secure. Therefore, a backup system is extremely important.
I found a scanner that does not take up any room on my desktop. Are you curious yet? I received a KeyScan KS810-P keyboard scanner. I am totally impressed with this gadget. I was a bit skeptical because this scanner keyboard combo was only $79. So far it has proven to be one of the best little scanners that I have every used, and the keyboard is perfect.
I have been scanning my documents off and on for years. I have been faithful with my backups, I haven’t lost any documents. I have chosen to go about this in an organized and consistent way. I have a lot of documents to scan. Of course not all personal documents can or should be saved in this manner. For instance birth certificates or documents that might be needed in their original form should not be scanned unless you just want to have a copy. Usually these documents have official seals. Wills, deeds, and birth and death certificates should be kept in a safe deposit box. They are of no use if they aren’t the originals.
Many companies like banks, investment firms, credit card companies, and utility companies offer your documents online. This makes it quite easy since all you have to do is to download the documents to your hard drive. I usually download these documents, and then if I receive a paper statement I just shred it. You can also turn off paper statements with most companies. Just be sure that you go in and save copies to your computer. It wouldn’t be wise to not have copies of these documents. The temptation of receiving statements online is that you might ignore them and not take a look. For security reasons you should always check your statements to make sure that everything is as it should be.
I am tired of having paper around. Even though I try to keep it organized, it’s still sometimes difficult to find something when I need it. If everything is scanned into my computer, it’s so much easier to find. At least for me it is.
That article that I referred to earlier from the New York Times, mentioned that some households no longer have phone books. Ours is one of those households. I’ve always hated phone books. I think they will become a thing of the past. Thank goodness. Who needs them? It’s just one more item that clutters up the house. Even my books are digital these days.
I plan this year to get all my documents in one place, on my computer. If you want to do this you’ll need a fast scanner, a shredder, and a good backup. You have to commit to making sure that you have a good backup in place. It’s really not all that difficult, and backing up your computer data is something you should be doing any way.
You know there have been predictions, for quite some time, that technology would bring us a paperless world. It hasn’t really happened. At least in my world, I intend to make it so. Scan me in Scottie.