Advice for Setting Up a Paperless Workstation

paperless work station

The promise of a paperless life can sometimes feel like a flying car or a robot maid— a futuristic fantasy that never became a reality. More than ever, paper encroaches on our counter space, and threatens to bury important information in its piles (and piles, and piles). I used to live under paper mountains, and I’m here to say that while paper can’t be completely eliminated from one’s life, it is possible to live a paperless lifestyle— where important information is stored digitally, and the rest is done away with. No more piles, no more overdue bills or lost receipts. It all starts with a great set-up at home that stops paper in its tracks. Here’s how to create a paperless station to get you started.

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Step 1

 Open GalleryRecylingThe first step is to make sure that unimportant papers don’t make it in the door. Have a recycling bin close to the door you enter with the mail, so you can sort the important stuff on sight and toss the rest immediately.

Step 2

 Open GalleryPaper Karma gets rid of junk mailPaper Karma makes geting rid of junk mail a snap. Just take a photo of the offending mail and Paper Karma will unsubscribe for you. Your mailbox will feel like it went on a diet.

Step 3

 Open GalleryScanningFor bills, receipts, school schedules, rosters, statements, and any other important documents that come into the home, get a desktop scanner and start digitizing. The Doxie Go is a great choice because it has built in memory, so it doesn’t even need to be connected to a computer to start scanning.

Step 4

 Open Gallerybacked up to the cloud

Once everything has been scanned, you’ll need a “digital filing cabinet” of sorts to store all that information in. This is where the paperless lifestyle gets good because with digital storage (like Evernote, pictured here), all your documents are easy to search for and find in a flash. Plus, if they’re stored in the cloud, you can access them from any phone, tablet or web-enabled device.

Step 5

 Open GalleryShreddingOnce you’ve scanned all the important information, dispose of the paper. Shredding it is a good way to obscure any sensitive information that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands. Plus shredded paper is great for garden mulch or animal bedding, so you can put those bags of shredded bills to good use!

Tools

  • Desktop Scanner
  • Digital Storage
  • Paper Karma
  • Shredder
  • Recycle bin
About Carley Knobloch 

17Posts

I'm all about smart, simple solutions to managing life, work and family. I blog about the intersection of tech and living at CarleyK.com and delve into smart home technology ...

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2 Responses

  1. Shay says:

    I would not recommend using shredded receipts for anything as the paper may contain BPA.

  2. This is just what I needed for a NYR (new year resolution!) – depaper. Especially for those that work travel, the sea of receipts and paper is really too much to track. Simplifying through maintaining less paper is a sure way to use your time more efficiently!

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