10 easy steps to ‘Go Paperless in 2013’
Go Paperless in 2013. That is my resolution for 2013.
What that means is that in 2013 and beyond, I will try to limit the use of paper and would seek alternatives to replace paper in daily life.
To achieve my goal, I need some preparation, determination and the will to not use paper. The list (shown in picture) is just a snapshot of quick ideas that crossed my mind while thinking about going paperless.
Looking closely at the list makes me wonder that there are many day-to-day things where I use paper. If I just limit the use of that paper, there lies a big opportunity to go paperless in long run.
How to ‘Go Paperless’ in 2013?
Switch to e-bills instead of Paper bills
Almost every service provider and utility company now offers an option to receive e-bill instead of paper bill. The e-bill (electronic bill) is secure and convenient. Also, I can never lose it as it is available online all the time. So the very first thing to reduce the use of paper is to switch to e-bills from all the services I receive bill from.
Switch to online/PDF bank statements
Every bank now offers monthly and yearly bank statements in PDF format. All I needed to do is just going to bank’s site and sign-up for ‘electronic statement only’. That way I won’t receive those bulky bank statements.
Switch Paper Magazine and Newspapers subscriptions to Digital subscription
With a Samsung Galaxy S3 and an Android tablet, there is no need to have print magazines taking space in my home. I can reclaim all that space by making sure I don’t get any more paper magazines.
All major magazines now offer digital subscription free for print subscribers. All I need to do is confirm my subscription and then I can read then using Google Play Magazine or Zinio app on my galaxy phone and tablet.
Sign and Fax Documents Online
With services like HelloSign and HelloFax, there is definitely no need to print, sign and then fax the documents. I can create a digital signature and add to the documents I need to sign and fax them digitally using these two services. No more paper, no more fax machine and no more scanning as well. I can save money on Paper and Fax Machine as well.
Use Evernote and/or Springpad to organize notes
Evernote and Springpad are one of the best note taking apps available for Android and iOS devices. They make really easy to grab any idea, picture or even a product with a bar code to add to the app. Instead of Post-it Sticky notes and paper notebook, I would use these apps. This act by itself will make me go paperless completely as I don’t have to carry a notebook or diary and no need to have a Post-it note on my desk. It’s completely digital.
Also S Memo app on my Samsung Galaxy S3 has some cool features too. (The above picture was created in S Memo only and then later photo-edited to add effects.)
Use Springpad to create grocery shopping list
Springpad makes it easy to create lists. A list with a check mark makes more sense than a regular note when it comes to shopping. Make a list once and reuse it over and over. Also while shopping keep track of the items you bought by checking off the items from the list. Really good way to organize your shopping.
Use Digital/electronic Business Cards
There are many services (Bump, Cardcloud etc.) that help create a digital business cards. These cards can be easily updated with latest information. The best thing is that as soon as the information is transferred to the recipient, he/she has it in her address book. There are various ways to transfer the information – bump it, email it or just scan the QR code.
Switch to Credit Card and Paypal for all online and in-store payments instead of checks
Use reusable bags while shopping – No paper bags and no plastic bags either as far as possible.
Say absolutely NO to prints.
There are other things I would like to do to reduce paper use, but I am helpless. Specially with the stuff that comes in my post. I get almost 50 papers daily with coupons from local merchants, restaurants and Pizza places. I am sure everyone gets it. But can’t they all put these coupons/offers on a webpage or something that I can check before going out for dinner for coupons instead of them filling my recycle bin with waste paper.
If somehow that can be reduced it will help me achieve my goal of going completely paperless.
These are some of my ideas to reduce my paper use and go paperless in 2013 and beyond.
Feel free to offer any other suggestions you may have that can help me achieve my goal this year. I am sure there are thousands of similar ideas. Don’t hesitate to offer even the smallest idea because every bit counts.
So start pouring… and if you like, use this post to start organizing your life without papers. Let’s all take this pledge to try to reduce paper use and become more Eco-friendly.