Going Paperless

“Going Paperless” buzzwords have been around for quite a while now and I really never gave much thought to how “paperless” I really was.

I have 2 two drawer file cabinets and a one drawer file cabinet in my home office. I recently realized how few times they have actually been opened in the past couple of years.

Everything I used to write down on paper in notebooks is now kept on Microsoft OneNote. OneNote data is kept in Microsoft OneDrive and is available on any device from anywhere. Everything is kept in folders just like a physical file cabinet and better yet is immediately searchable. You talk about convenient!

Years ago, after buying several eBooks for my Kindle, I found it was very convenient having my reference books immediately available to me on my smart phone, tablet or computer, complete with bookmarks and annotations, wherever I went. Over the past few years literally all my reference books are now on my Kindle and, of course, automatically on the Kindle apps on all my devices. I find this absolutely invaluable. Sadly for Barnes and Noble I will go in to the store to browse and then order the Kindle version of what I want for a fraction of the store list price and have the book in a much more useable format. The days of Brick and Mortar book stores are unfortunately numbered.

I’ve done my taxes using Turbo Tax on-line for many years and have no need to keep paper copies. All my forms are available on-line from all the companies with which I do business.   I even file my taxes on-line. My taxes have been totally paperless for many years.

Whenever I buy a new device, whether it is a tech device or a home appliance, the up-to-date manual is always on-line in PDF format. When I open a device box, I look at the “getting started” paper while setting it up and then I download the PDF manual on-line and save it in my PDF folder on Microsoft OneDrive. Then I throw the box and all the paperwork away. (Actually Kate flattens it all and uses it as compost in her garden.)  If I’m ever having a problem with any device I have, I simply take out my smart phone and look at the PDF manual.  Paper manuals are totally obsolete.

I used to print out information I found on the Internet and then file it in my filing cabinets, but I realized that all I really needed was a link to what I needed. There was no reason to waste paper and time on printed paper. When I want someone else to read something I’ve found, all I need to do is email them a link to it.

I have a printer on my printer stand, but all I use it for is an occasional photo print. And even at that, almost all photos are expected to be on-line. They days of having photos in a wallet are all but gone, now your photos are on your smart phone. You don’t reach for your wallet to display photos of your grandchildren, you reach for your smart phone!

There’s no question about it, I have become, for all practical purposes, “paperless”.

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