No more filing cabinets no more bankers boxes full of paper. I now keep my bills, medical and insurance paperwork, bank statements, etc. digitally.
For first 30 days, I ran paperless while maintaining my paper workflow. Once convinced going paperless was going to work I started the great purge of my old documents.
Here are the tools in my paperless workflow:
I use the scanner that is part of my older Canon printer. It’s slow but it works for me. If you don’t have a scanner check out the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Mobile Document Scanner . It comes highly recommended. I also have Scanner Pro by Readdle. on my iPhone.
My scanner doesn’t have OCR capabilities so I needed a way to OCR my scans. For this I chose PDFpen. PDFpen besides its OCR capabilities is also a great pdf reader and editor. If you’re not familiar with OCR here is what it does. It converts an image of the text to text that is searchable by computers and computer software like Hazel, Spotlight, and Alfred.
Hazel is the program I use to automatically name and organize my files according to rules I’ve created.
After I scan my documents I destroy the originals with a cross cut shredder.
The Great Purge:
I processed my backlog of documents this way. I went through all my old documents and organized them into three groups scan and keep, scan and shred, and shred. With that complete, I reached the point of doing the actual shredding. There was no way I was going to be able to shred 18 boxes of paper with my little shredder. So I called a local mobile shredding service and had them come to the house and do the shredding. It took just 15 minutes and I was able to watch all my get shredded.
Here’s my paperless workflow:
Now every incoming piece of paper goes into the inbox pile on my desk. All digital documents go into the Inbox folder on my Mac. Every Friday I go through both inboxes and process all the documents using the tools in my paperless tool in my paperless workflow.
Here are a couple of recommendations if you are thinking about going paperless. Read Zachary Sexton article Think going paperless is hard work? Think again. Here’s how I showed my 56-year-old dad go paperless. Zachary’s article got the ball rolling for me. For a more in-depth guide check out The MacSparky Paperless Field Guide by David Sparks.