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    The Case For Paperless

    Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Banking, Declutter, Housing, Simplification

    Paper litters nearly every aspect of our life. Not only is paper a nuisance, but for every piece of paper you decide to keep, you have to organize, store and manage it. What a waste of time and resources.

    Is your desk covered with neat (or messy) stacks of paper? Do you find it frustrating to find documents in a file cabinet? Tired of having stacks of mail and paper clutter your life? Are you interested in simplifying your life and spending more time doing the things you love?

    Here are just a few reasons to work towards eliminating the endless stream of paper.


    Paperless is Safer
    I have heard the argument that things online are unsafe. But we easily forget how unsafe a typical mailbox is. Which is easier to gain access to: a large national bank’s system or a typical mailbox in front of your home? Even a locked mailbox is easy to pick an offers little or no protection.

    With paperless statements you won’t have files cabinets full of account numbers and other documents in your home for someone to rifle through. If you choose to save documents locally on your computer, look into password protection or other security in case your computer is compromised.

    Paperless is Backup-able
    If you are storing your bank statements and other paper mail in a file cabinet and your home robbed, burned or you simply misplace them, you are usually out of luck.
    However, with paperless documents you can easily setup a system for automatically archiving and backing up your important documents. Dropbox.com is my favorite backup and online storage service. (It’s free under 2gigs)

    Paperless is Cheaper
    You will spend less on storing and organizing all your paper statements and mail. You will also spend less on stamps mailing back all your payments. You won’t have to worry about running out of desk drawers or room in your office with electronic files either. If your office is paperless, you can even lease less space, or fit more desks furthering the savings.

    Paperless Produces Less Waste
    Take a close look at all the paper you toss after opening your mail next time. Inserts, junk mail and return envelops are all just extra wasted paper in most cases. If you are paying your bills the easy way, you won’t be sending in a good’ol check anyway.

    Paperless Saves Time
    I dread opening mail because I know that opening it is only the beginning. After I open it, I will need to file it, respond to it, and review it. If you are getting a lot of mail, you know how fast it can pile up. Try coming back from a vacation to a huge pile of mail. Now imagine coming back from a vacation with no mail at all to open! You may not realize how much time you spend processing mail, unnecessarily.

    In addition, you won’t have to walk or drive to your mailbox daily (maybe once a week at the most).  You also won’t have to spend time sorting through old statements to locate one. A quick search on your computer, or online document site and you can find your document quickly.

    Paperless is Faster
    You get online statements immediately. You don’t have to wait for the post office, and online statements can come 24/7 rather than being restricted to the US Mail hours, holidays and routes. You have the ability to check your statements the day they are created.

    Paperless is Mobile
    Not only are you not tied to a physical location, you can check your online statements on the go. If you travel for any reason, you know how nice it can be to get some of the day-to-day busy work out of the way as you wait in an airport or hotel room. Use this time to review your statements etc.

    Now that we understand the benefits of eliminating paper mail, how do we do it? Please check back for:

    1. Paperless: Reducing the Stream
    2. Paperless: Getting Started
    3. Paperless: Managing the Digital Files
    4. Paperless: Organizing/Backup/Sync
    5. Paperless: Other Creative Ideas

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