Paperless. Done.

Pile of papers
Pile of papers
The filing cabinet may have to be nex

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and gone paperless.  I hardly ever look at any of the junk I accumulate in my filing cabinet anyway so it’s all gone in the bin or the shredder.  Everything I need (except a few things which will be scanned) is now in digital format.  So why did I keep all this stuff anyway?

  • I didn’t review what I kept on a regular basis to see if it was worth holding onto
  • For absurd sentimental reasons e.g. offprints of papers I’d written (which are digitally preserved anyway)
  • Some items I had only on paper – e.g. papers people had given me, reports I’d picked up etc
  • Until I got an iPad I felt it was easier to read long documents on paper than on the screen

To preserve the near empty state of my filing cabinet I have a cunning plan:

  • Ask people to send me digitally anything they hand me on paper to which I think I might wish to refer again
  • Instead of printing out articles read them on the iPad and bookmark them with Delicious
  • Scan in anything worth keeping which is not already digital and ditch the original

I have a slight confession to make at this point.  I’m not really paperless yet – I still have bookshelves.  This is mainly because books look nice and I like to be surrounded by them not because I refer to them very often.  Ditching my books, as recommended by Alexander Halavais, is a step too far for me at this point.  But I’m thinking about it.

Nearly empty filing cabinet
The entire contents of my filing cabinet. Even this will be gone soon.