Go paperless

Save the planet.
Don’t keep drawers full of paperwork.  Instead, scan whatever papers you need into your hard drive.  Benefits:
  • Save trees
  • Find your files more easily
  • Avoid losing important papers in a disaster
  • Takes up less physical space
  • More convenient access to your files
Develop a simple filing system.
  • Set up folders to naturally classify your papers.  For example, sales invoices can go in one folder and rent bills in another.
  • In each folder, mix scans with other relevant documents, such as MS-Word files.
  • Save all scans in the same format – PDF format works.
  • A 300 DPI setting in color is usually clear enough for most papers without hogging too much disk space.
  • Use a consistent naming system.  For example, I name each file according to the date: YearMonthDate.  A memo dated “February 18, 2011” would be named “20110218.”  Then, alphabetized files will also appear in chronological order.
  • Proprietary programs for filing scanned documents (such as PaperPort) don’t add much value over simply viewing your files in Windows Explorer.
  • A cloud-based system like DropBox will back up all your files and make them available online, on a tablet and on other computers.

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