Join Suzanna Kaye for an in-depth discussion in this video Why go paperless, and best practices, part of Going Paperless: Start to Finish.
- We hear about paperless systems frequently in the media, social situations, and work places, but why are these systems so popular? Are they really worth the time and effort it takes to set them up? As we work through this course you will learn much more about how to set up paperless systems, but here are a few of the whys. With paperless you can have On-the-Go Access. Most paperless systems use internet and cloud-based technology. This means your data is available to you whenever you have internet access.
This also includes other computers, laptops, tablets, and your smartphone. Ease of finding information. Paperless systems speed up the process of finding the information you need. With little physical effort, you can pull up multiple virtual files. If you forget where your document is stored, a quick search will find it for you. Space Management and Organization. Paperless systems take up minimal space. External hard drives have become very small and can hold vast amounts of data in an area no bigger than your wallet.
Saving you space in your home and office for other uses and creating a more visually peaceful area. Backups and Data Security. With paperless systems it's very easy to create backups of all of your important data. These backups can also be stored offsite in secure facilities. The benefit of backups and offsite storage is protection from loss of data, disasters, user error, and equipment failure no longer mean you lose your information and with the security available through backup and storage programs, your information has stronger and more advanced protection from prying eyes and theft.
Unlike in a home or office filing system. Easy Purging. Unlike paper that needs to be shredded or recycled, virtual documents can be purged with just a few clicks of the mouse. With proper document naming techniques, this process can be completed with just a simple search. With going paperless and setting up new systems and habits, there are a few best practices to follow in order to build trust and simplicity in the systems. Don't try to change all of your systems to paperless at once.
Start small with one or two new systems. Trying to change too many systems at once will inevitably lead to confusion, mistrust, and eventual system breakdown. Systems are based on your own habits and comfort working within them. To make each system as productive and as easy as possible, focus on building the new habits around its use. By focusing on one habit at a time, you gain comfort within the system and build trust that your data is safe and you know how to retrieve it, reducing fears and worries.
Try each new habit consistently for 30 days until you can use it with little thought or effort. Use it frequently. In order to build your habits, you must use the system frequently. Scan papers when they arrive or on a consistent and frequent schedule. Save new passwords immediately and more. The more you use your system, the faster your new skills become habit. Be consistent. Consistency in file names and program uses is key to creating systems that work easily.
Once you determine which program you'll use for specific tasks, don't deviate from that program. I'll cover the programs I recommend for various tasks, as well as best methods for naming files. In order for file searches to work effectively your file names need to be consistent. Back it up. Creating and maintaining good backups of your data is one of the most important features of a paperless system. Knowing that your data is safe, secure, and you know how to retrieve it if your local copy is lost will give you peace of mind, and protect you from loss.
This course is organized with some of the most important or foundational systems first and its designed to walk you through step-by-step each area of transitioning to paperless. I recommend you watch the entire course once to understand how all of these pieces work with, connect, and rely on each other. Once you've seen all of the movies, go back to each chapter and work on each new system consistently until you feel comfortable with the associated habits and the process before moving on to the next chapter.
Proceeding this way will help you succeed in creating a series of systems that are easy to use and require very little thought and energy to use effectively.
Then explore password management and how to manage paperless lists, notes, calendars, and contacts. The course also covers electronic file and document storage, including how to scan paperwork into various e-friendly formats. Last, Suzanna shares some smart strategies for reducing incoming papers and keeping your email inbox organized.
- Backing up and maintaining information
- Purging and archiving
- Managing passwords
- Creating storage policies
- Stopping junk mail
- Using Dropbox for online storage
- Scanning paperwork
- Managing calendars, contacts, and to-do lists
- Organizing email in Gmail