Today's post is going to be instructivus. (That is Latin for "instructive and helpful to YOU." Obviously.)
I was more than a little disappointed when I read this article, How to go Paperless. I think was hoping to find some real digital alternatives to using paper rather than just "get a scanner."
So naturally I'm going to tell you. Granted, the paperless article tells you how to get rid of paper you already have -- but shoot, I know how to do that. It's called a recycle bin. Over the past two years, I have gone almost completely paperless in my personal and professional life. Here are the tools I used to do it.
You have to have a gmail account I think, but who cares, they're free. What I love about Google Docs is that you can type up notes or even a document, or upload an existing Word, PPT, or Excel file to it. This is great if you're at work and want to commit that elusive scene to paper but know it'll be hours before you get home, and then you'll be brain dead by that time, anyway. Open up Google Docs and voila. Also, it tends to be better than notes because you have it one place. Even better, you can share your Google Doc with others. I use it for a lot of things like blog post drafting, scenes, and other notes.
To-do web sites.
Sites like Remember the Milk and Backpack It organize your lists and ideas. Most of these are free and usually have synchronized apps for your smart phone.
Online checking and bill pay.
This has resulted in a huge reduction in paper. My credit card, checking account, utility, cell, and tv and internet bills all come electronically, reducing the incredible waste created by envelopes and other inserts these things come up--but also the storage issue. I like to keep my stuff organized in a file cabinet, but that necessitates shredding checking account statements after a few years, which is a supremely annoying task. But if you get your checking account online account set up, chances are they store your statements in PDF form for you online, and let you access them there. That is huge! Same with my credit card statements. I love this. This has reduced a huge amount of paper.
Windows and Microsoft Office users get this great program, One Note, which is a free-form way to store notes, pictures, web sites, or anything else you need. I can't recommend this enough and it's endless in the levels or organization--in a good way. I use it for a variety of things, but mostly for items that I don't know how to store anywhere else.
Have anything to add?