April 2015 — Tip of the Month
If you're like me, you've received countless mailings encouraging you to "go paperless." Banks, credit card companies, ISPs, phone companies, cable providers, schools, medical clinics, non-profits, and other organizations all want you to "go green" or "be eco-friendly" and sign up for electronic statements. Why? Because it saves them money. After all, $0.50 to $1.00 per mailing really adds up when you have millions of customers.
Cynicism aside, "e-delivery" of documents save trees from being cut down and helps reduce waste. As someone who cares about the environment, I started signing up for electronic statements years ago. As I switched one account after the other to the paperless option, I realized it wasn't just good for the environment. It was good for me. Going paperless simplified my life.
Now I receive every single one of my monthly statements and most other mailings electronically. Several organizations send me an email each month letting me know my statement is available. I can choose to view it online or download a copy for my records. Instead of filing away papers in physical folders, I can simply download a PDF and store it in a folder on my computer. My office is cleaner and my desk is less cluttered. It is Scandinavian feng shui at its finest.
The other advantage of going paperless is that it's much easier to retrieve information when you need it. Instead of searching through file cabinets or sifting through piles of papers, I can easily locate files on my computer or find statements online. (It helps to develop a consistent way of naming files if you save them locally.) I've also found that I can view soft copies more efficiently than hard copies since I can quickly page through them and search for specific text.
Recently, I took another step towards an all digital document lifestyle and began scanning all my receipts and business cards using the NeatReceipts scanning system. I hardly ever open my file cabinet anymore. It's great.