New Year, no paper

Created date

December 22nd, 2014
paper stack
paper stack

Welcome to the New Year! Looking for an easy way to shed some excess weight without the hassle of diet or exercise? Chances are you’ve got pounds and pounds of papers lying around: bills, receipts, warranties, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to be done with the clutter of paper once and for all?  

Although it can be scary to not have all your important documents in a tangible location, going paperless can have benefits. Hoarding paper is a habit just like any other that can be broken, and lately, many companies are making it as effortless as ever.

Automatic bill pay

Signing up for online bill pay is the first step to a life without paper. Thousands of companies offer this option, while some even offer incentives. To begin paying a bill online, visit your company’s website to create an account. Once you have an account, you can set reminder alerts for payment due dates or even set up automatic bill payments.  

Automatic payments allow companies to pay bills directly from authorized credit cards or bank accounts every month. This feature is helpful for utilities, such as power and water, or credit cards. Authorizing automatic bill pay could also be helpful if you are a frequent traveler and don’t want to worry about incurring penalties or interruptions in service. Many banks also give patrons the option to set up bill payments directly through their website.

Document scanners

Of course, there are other important documents besides bills that need to be organized and easily accessed. You can organize papers digitally with a  document scanner. Insurance forms, medical documents, and even business cards or warranty information can be scanned and filed electronically. There are a number of options available on the market that range in price from $200 to $500. The Fujitsu ScanSnap, Doxie Go, and Neat Scanner are all popular options. Scanning important documents offers a level of organization and safety that traditional filing cabinets cannot. Computer files can easily be backed up on external hard drives or can be uploaded to "cloud" storage to be accessed from anywhere.  

Small changes, big difference

One thing to remember about going paperless is that you don’t have to do it all in a weekend. It can be as gradual of a process as you want it to be. Even if you decide to stop receiving just one paper bill a month, that’s still one less piece of mail junking up your mailbox. Plus, there are other benefits to going paperless. Reducing the amount of paper bills will help lower greenhouse gasses and save trees, not to mention declutter your space. The most important thing to remember about going paperless is to do what feels comfortable for you.