Setting up my paperless home
I have always hated paper. Whether that be school reports, filing correspondence at work or keeping track of household’s bills they would end up being in a cluster that I have to keep in case I need it someday. My mailbox gets full with energy provider leaflets of special offers and bank statements that include separate pages explaining how each individual charge is calculated. All of this takes up valuable space which in a typical London home is in short supply. When I moved into smaller dwelling I had my files placed in storage for a number of years. I worked out that even a small bay cost me over £2,500 over a period.
At work we use an Enterprise level software, with in built document management system I began to play with importing and saving different work documents under different contacts. I now generate all my correspondence and working spreadsheet from the program which means I don’t have to worry about which folder I saved it to. All of this got me thinking “if it could simplify things at work, I could try it at home. I got permission to borrow one of the OCR scanners over Easter and got to work.
The biggest issue was putting papers in order and getting rid of stapled groups of paper. I tried doing individual letters but that still took too long. I eventually grouped correspondence from each sender and got it scanning double sided in bulk. At 60 pages a minute I whizzed through each section creating a multi-page searchable PDF (up to 90 pages long) which means I could find contents within pages instantly. In an afternoon I had scanned in over one thousand pages, cleared one bookshelf and had 6 garbage bags full of shredded confetti. Those 1000 pages equated to 120 mb of space. The personal ones I stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive “Cloud storage solution” so I can access at any time. The more sensitive material is on a hard drive and will eventually be encrypted to SharePoint.
As with any good clear out it was a great feeling to reclaim the space knowing that nothing had been lost and protected from any natural disaster or any would be burglar. I would recommend anyone to get this done as not only does it clear out your living area but it places everything in a digital format that makes it easier to find and is protected against unwanted damage.
Next weekend, on to those school reports…
Malcolm Ford has had 25 years’ experience in different industries and currently implements enterprise level software to increase efficiency in small to medium sized businesses.