Friend, it pains me to say this, but you’re in a bad relationship. And I want to help you break out of it.
Paper is a wonderful medium to read from, and yes it’s fun to scribble notes on paper. But, for all its familiar benefits, paper is actually making you less efficient. Once you learn to digitize your important information you’ll quickly see this.
Here are some of the life pleasures you’ll appreciate, once you learn to get rid of paper:
First, you’ll be able to find your important information just by typing in a few key words. And you can do this from your phone. Millions of people who use the free online service Evernote do this every day. Being able to quickly find notes by doing the equivalent of a “google search” on your own documents is a jaw-dropping experience. But you have to digitize your papers, and move away from your paper-based system first.
Next, you’ll enjoy the ability to quickly email a copy of any of those documents to a friend or client when they ask you for something you’ve stored in Evernote or Dropbox (another popular cloud-based storage service). You’ll be able to do this from your phone while you’re at a coffee shop. The first time you use your smartphone to blast document to an impatient client you’ll feel like the first astronaut on the moon. Except you’ll be in a comfy chair at Starbucks.
Finally, you’ll appreciate that, by storing your important data in a secure online repository, that data is always backed up. Sure you can do local backups, and maybe you’re one of those rare people who actually do backups—and do them well. But remember: all local backups are vulnerable to local disasters (e.g. fires, hurricanes, floods, and hard drive failures). Digitized data that’s stored in a secure cloud service has the lowest probability of being lost. And paper? Backing up your papers is too inconvenient, and expensive.
So what are you waiting for? Learn to digitize your important documents and then take advantage of a reliable (and ridiculously cheap) cloud storage service. All you have to do is (1) decide which of the three Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners to get, and then (2) set it to scan to your free Evernote account. Once you get the hang of it you’ll lose your fondness for paper. After all, what has paper done for you lately?