This year I decided to go paperless! Yahoo! I was excited at the thought of not having piles of paperwork ‘hanging around’ taking up space, staring at me and waiting to be filed.
And secondly.. filing cabinets are soooo ugly, who wants one of those monstrous beasts taking up precious space in your home or office? Not me!
Thirdly, I’m not a big fan of filing. So if there was a fun and easy way to stay organized and find things… I’m all over that action. So… I took the plunge. Here’s what I did
1. Purchased the following –
- ScanSnap S1300 from Amazon
- better shredder from Walmart
- 1 TB external hard drive
2. Installed the scanner and the software that comes with it.
3. Sorted all my papers into related piles – bank, car, medical, etc. Try not to get too anal about this. You’ll adjust and organize these better after you get them scanned. (Egads check out all those piles!)
4. Set up a simple folder structure to start. And this is a biggie – Don’t let this hold you back from ever getting started. At this stage of the process – I felt overwhelmed at the idea of trying to figure out how to set up these folders. This part prevented me from moving forward in my paperless pursuits for about 6 months! (Embarrassing I know).
However, once I put ‘something’ (anything) in place and got started with the scanning, I found that the folder structure I mulled over all that time… kept changing. My ‘final’ set of folders ended up looking nothing like my original set. So that’s GOOOD news for you!
5. Here are some ideas on setting up your folders –
- Tied to the way your tax returns are set up.
- Two sets of folders – Business and Personal.
- How is your existing paper filing cabinet set up?
- Order a filing system from online and model it for your paperless set up
6. Start simple. The main thing I want to convey is to go with something simple and just get started! You will build from there and if you’re anything like me… you’ll probably continue to build on your first set of folder over time and refine it as you go.
7. Here’s a simplified version of how mine look –
- Credit Cards
- Rental Property
Now go on… get paperless! You’ll feel so much freedom you will wonder why you waited so long! If you need any help or have questions, feel free to shoot me an email or post a comment here or on my Facebook page. I’m happy to help!