The dream of the paperless office has been going on for some time. Unfortunately, almost every office in the land is still packed to the brim with paper and so are people’s homes. We are making progress, but it is slow and most people still rely on paper for many tasks; bills, writing, letters etc. etc.
Ironically, we already have everything we need to remove paper from our lives and the benefits are extremely high. All you need is a smartphone, but a desktop or tablet will aid the process.
Take a photo of a bill or letter and upload it to Evernote with one tap. You can store it in a folder of your choosing and over time you will have a perfectly chronicled set of digital paper which you can search for easily. Compare that to a bookcase full of paper which is almost impossible to manage.
Dropbox is more of a half-way house, but for the quick uploading of physical paper, it works very efficiently. You can again snap a photo and it will be uploaded to any folder you choose in a matter of seconds.
This Android app lets you quickly scan any paper document and upload it to Evernote and other services in the secure PDF format. Apps like this can make paper documents look exceptionally clear in digital form and make the entire experience feel more like paper, but with the added advantages of the digital format.
You can then take this further by using an app like Bills Reminder. Simply insert your digitised copy of a bill and have a reminder pop up when you need it. The use of a scanned bill with the handy reminder feature could save you a lot of money in the long run.
The list of solutions continues with services like Box and Google Docs and the only limit to eradicating paper from your life is one of unawareness. Of course, consideration must be given to security and understandably some people will be concerned about uploading this type of information online, but there are desktop software solutions that work well with smartphone apps to ensure that you only keep your personal documents within your own Wi-Fi or cabled network.
To sum up, you can easily remove paper from your life and a smartphone is the perfect tool to help you do it.