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.
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.
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.
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.