Making your documents, receipts and magazines magically disappear

Do you keep a lot of important documents around, or maybe memories from the past, collecting dust in a box or in a drawer somewhere? Tax records, certificates, lecture notes, payslips or maybe old love letters.

I do.

my-folders

Paper takes up plenty of space if you let it accumulate. I’m not saying get rid of it all. Neither should you save it all. There is a third option. These are the steps that I followed.

1. Start by taking it all out and make a pile of it to get aware of how much paper you actually have.

2. Go through everything and sort out all of the shit.., I mean stuff that don’t need any more. Be hard on yourself here! It’s just a piece of paper and if you haven’t looked at it in a years time then maybe you never will.
(Make sure to recycle all the papers – remember that they actually comes from trees!)

3. You should now find yourself with a stack of papers and documents that you want to keep. These, we are doing to digitalize. Yes, this is where the magic comes into play. Get a hold of a digital camera, scanner or camera-phone and let the magic begin. If your using a camera I would suggest shooting in a well lit room and not using a flash. Remember to check the quality so that the documents actually comes out readable. I used my compact camera for every shot.

my-papers

4. Grab that memory card and transfer the photographs (actually your documents magically converted into digital form) to your computer. I ended up digitalizing 250+ documents this time. Let me note that this is not a one time thing, but a process that you mind go through a couple of times a year.

5. Copy them all to folder and start organizing your new digital library.

my-files

p.s.

Do you keep a whole magazine around just because of this one great article that you liked (and might want to read again)?

Cut out the article with a sharp knife and staple the selected pages together.

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