There are a lot of myths about going paperless, and I want to try debunk some of those myths today.
Here are six things that might surprise you about going paperless (and I think some people are gonna disagree with me about #5 – but it’s true!)
Now before we go on: If you're interested in getting your own paper management system set up and running smoothly once and for all, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about my Paper-Less System course that's open for just a few days. Click here to learn all about The Paper-Less System.
Click below to watch the video, or keep reading!
1. No One Has TRULY Gone Paperless
That’s right – nobody who has gone paperless has truly removed every scrap of paper from their home. Really, it’s a process of going paper-less, not paper-gone. No matter who you are, you’ll need to hold onto some physical documents like your birth certificate, social security card, and marriage license.
Beyond that, how much you digitize and how much you keep in physical form is really up to you! Some people only digitize 10% to 20% of their paper, while other may digitize upwards of 80% – but remember! Any digitized paper is less paper, so it all counts as becoming paper-less.
2. A scanner is not required.
Say what!? You heard me – a scanner is not required to go paper-less. Sure, it can be nice to have. If you can’t decide if you should invest in a scanner or not, these questions will help you make the best choice.
How many papers are you planning to process? If you’re only digitizing 5 to 10 papers a month, it is absolutely doable on your smart phone.
Do you have a large backlog of papers that you want to digitize? I highly recommend starting today and implementing your new paper-less system going forward before worrying about playing catch up with past papers. But some people are so inspired and excited when they start to go paper-less that they want to tackle their backlog of physical papers. If that’s you, you may want to invest in a scanner. (I highly recommend this one!)
Will you be digitizing multi-page documents? – For simple, one page documents like a utility bill or test results from your doctor, a phone will do the trick. But a scanner really comes in handy if you’re wanting to digitize a packet of papers like your mortgage documents.
3. Digitized documents are more secure.
Yes, believe it or not, digitized papers are MORE secure than physical copies of papers. I think being able to touch and see the physical copy of a paper gives a false sense of security. In reality, physical papers are more susceptible to theft and natural disasters.
When you digitize papers, they’re all stored in the cloud. That means all you need to be able to access them is a device with internet access (any device! It doesn’t have to be the device you scanned the papers into.) Even if your computer is stolen or destroyed, you can log onto a different computer and access those documents.
4. A digital system takes less time than a physical system
This one is just a simple fact – it takes less time to maintain and use a digital system than it does a physical system. Searching for papers digitally is truly a breeze, and there’s no fumbling with filing cabinets and folders.
5. You can be LESS organized and find your papers easier when you go paperless
This is the one where I expect some experts to disagree with me, but I’ve been going paper-less for years, and it’s absolutely true. With a paper-less system you can be less organized and expend less effort towards arranging your files while still being able to quickly and easily access all your documents.
No, going paperless will not magically organize your papers. But with the system that I teach, it actually doesn’t matter at all! If you want to spend hours creating detailed file folders, you’re welcome to, but it’s absolutely not necessary. You can find everything you need just by searching (including scanned in documents – it’s like magic!)
6. More accessible
Ever been at the bank and realized you forgot a document that had important information on it? I hate that sinking feeling of walking back to my car to drive home to grab that paper. The good news is, when you go paper-less you can access your digitized papers on any device, anywhere. So next time you’re at the bank you can just pull out your phone and pull up the document you need – no quick trip back home required!
If you’re feeling inspired to go paper-less but aren’t sure where to start, click here to check out my course, The Paper-less System, that will teach you exactly how to go paper-less. It’s easier than you think!