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The Ultimate Guide to Taking your Paperwork Digital


a pile of papers and the title of taking your paperwork digital

Let's face it, folks – paper clutter can be the bane of any organized existence. Receipts pile up, bills get lost in the shuffle, and important documents become buried under a mountain of "to-be-filed" later. As a professional organizer, I see this struggle all too often. But what if I told you there's a way to ditch the paper jungle and embrace a clutter-free, digital nirvana?

I'm here to guide you through the exciting (and sometimes daunting) process of taking your paperwork digital. We'll explore the pros and cons of going paperless, the essential supplies you'll need, and – most importantly – a step-by-step walkthrough to make this digital transition yourself. So, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and let's conquer that paper mountain together!


{Disclosure: Links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.}


 

The Pros & Cons of Taking your Paperwork Digital

Let's look at the different pros and cons of having your paperwork digital.

Pros

  • Accessible everywhere you go

  • Protected if something happens to your home

  • With the right programs, it can be more secure than having them at home

Cons

  • Takes a long time on the front end to convert 

  • If you’re not tech savvy, it’s difficult to keep up

  • Process of scanning can be tedious 


Supplies Needed to Take your Paperwork Digital

You really don't need a large amount of supplies to take your paperwork digital! Most of the items you may already have on hand already! Let's explore what you'll need in more detail!

  1. Document Storage Software

    1. Google/Microsoft Drive - this is a free, online file storage drive, all you need is a Google account!

    2. Second Vault - this is a paid, extremely secure software option. You can also assign a beneficiary that can access the items in the event of your passing.

    3. We will soon be offering our own very secure system.

  2. Scanner

    1. Traditional Printer/Scanner machine.

    2. Scanner App - this is a program you can download from your app store on your phone. It allows you to take a photo of the document and converts it into a document to upload to your document storage software.

  3. Physical Supplies

    1. Sticky notes, sharpies, shredder, paper clips, binder clips, folders. We'll discuss how to use these items in the "How To" section below.


How to Take Your Paperwork Digital

Now you're probably wonder how to actually take your paperwork digital! You basically do everything at you would normally do with traditional paperwork, but on the computer! The steps are pretty simple, but we've detailed them all below to make it even easier.

  1. Begin with the decluttering process!

    1. Sort every file into a large category. Examples: Home, Car, Kids, Business, etc..

    2. Sort all of the large categories into smaller categories. Example: Home can be sorted into Insurance, Utilities, Mortgage, etc.

    3. Once everything is sorted, then throw away what you don't need. Not sure if you should throw something away? Check out our tax blog post for some additional guidance.

  2. Remove all staples and replace with a paperclip. Paperclip each file/document individually.

  3. Use a binder clip to keep all files together that belong in the same subcategory.

  4. Put all of the binder clips in a folder that coordinates with your major categories.

  5. Scan all documents to the computer. This will be the most time consuming part.

    1. Create the folders and subfolders in your software of choice. Each Folder will be a folder on the computer, each binder clip will be a subfolder in that folder, and each paperclip will be a individual file within the subfolder. PRO TIP: When you are creating your digital folders, put a number at the beginning of the folder to keep the folders in order. Number them by frequency of use.

    2. Scan EVERYTHING IN ONE SUBCATEGORY AT A TIME and place into the correct folder. As you are scanning your files, make sure to use standardized way to name each of your files. We recommend using the “path” to the file. For Example: Home - 123 Main St - Purchase Documents. This file would be the purchase documents for your home at 123 Main St. 

    3. If you're more tech savvy, you could scan one binder clip and then use software to separate the individual files. 

Major and Minor category ideas


Document Naming Format for digital organizing
Ready to Take your Paperwork Digital?
Ready to reclaim your desk space and say goodbye to paper anxiety? Take the first step today! This digital transformation might seem daunting, but with the right tools and a little planning, you'll be basking in the peace of mind that comes with a clutter-free life. Remember, I'm here to guide you every step of the way. So, are you ready to ditch the paper and embrace your inner digital guru? If not, We offer this service, too! Schedule a Free strategy session today!


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