Let’s be honest here; somewhere in your home is a stack of papers. The stack could be on your counter, your desk, next to a computer, on a nightstand, or stuffed in a drawer, but it’s there. It has bills, birthday cards, tax documents, mail, and maybe a few checks you deposited online but never threw out.
Maybe you have more than one stash of papers. There’s the important stack you need to handle, the non-important stack you need to throw out, and the stack you keep in a lockbox in your closet with the super important information. But you don’t need to be a squirrel hiding away papers in your home like acorns in a field. It’s time to go paperless and make your life so much easier.
Less Clutter in your Home
Stacks of papers are not nice looking. Even if you hide them away in a drawer or box, they’re still there, taking up space and cluttering your home.
There’s no way to truly go paperless, as some things like birth certificates and legal documents are kept on paper, but you can reduce a ton of it. Rather than having boxes full of papers and folders taking up all of your valuable space, it’s time to reduce.
By going paperless on a lot of bills, statements, and other mail, you could get rid of many of those stacks. Similarly, if there are papers you want to keep to reference, you can translate them to a digital format with a scanner, or even just your phone.
Pioneer offers eDocuments through myPioneer if you want to stop getting monthly paper statements. It’s one less piece of paper every month and you can access the information from anywhere through your phone or computer.
Digital Means Easier Access
How often have you lost an important piece of paper and had to go digging through boxes and folders to find it? If that is more than once, going digital could be a huge time saver.
There are two ways to store your papers digitally, either on the cloud or on a computer/storage device. As long as you have a system for how the information is stored, you could find most things very easily.
For example, you could create a folder on a flash drive for your yearly tax documents. Rather than keeping it in a box in the closet, if you need to look something up, you just pull out the flash drive, plug it in, and open the folder.
If you have the information on the cloud like in a Google Drive or Dropbox, you could even access it from anywhere using your phone. You’d be never more than a few taps away from all of your information.
Keeping it digital also means sharing it with others who need it is much easier. If you convert all of your family photos to a Google Drive, you can share the folder with your family who are in the pictures. That way, they can all see it!
Ability to Search Your Documents
Let's say you have a large recipe book full of your favorite dishes. Searching for the right recipe means flipping through pages, even if you have a table of contents. Converting the recipe book to a digital format means you can jump straight to the right recipe with a quick search and tap. You can even search for specific ingredients in your recipes if you only have chicken at home and want to know which of your recipes uses chicken.
By going digital, your computer can do a lot of the lifting when it comes to searching through documents to find that exact piece of info you need. No more skimming over document after document trying to find the right number or sentence, your computer can do it for you!
Keep Everything More Secure and Safe
Having everything digital, whether it’s in the cloud or on a flash drive, makes it easier to keep your information safe. With digital formats, you can protect the information behind a password, keeping it safe from prying eyes.
It’s also easier to transport digital versions. In the cloud, it’s always there. On a flash drive, it fits in your pocket. Several boxes full of papers? It's a little difficult to move. In case of an emergency, like a house fire, you can quickly grab the flash drive and keep it safe in your pocket as you evacuate.
Making The Transition
So, you understand the benefits of going paperless, but where do you get started? The first step is to look at your incoming papers, like bills and statements, and then switch those to paperless. Nearly every company offers paperless versions, as it saves them money.
Next is to go through your current stockpile of papers. You’re going to convert these to digital formats. You can do this by investing in a scanner (many newer printers come with one) or by using your phone to take pictures and then convert these into PDFs or other appropriate file types. There are going to be a handful of documents you need to keep physically, but most can be converted over.
Once everything is digital, you need to store them safely. Use either a cloud service or put them on a flash drive/external hard drive. Avoid putting it directly on a computer, because if it crashes or something goes wrong, you lose it all.
Once you have digital versions of everything (and even consider backing them up in a separate location), it’s time to dispose of all the papers! But don’t just throw it in the trash, you need to shred it and keep your private information safe.
Pioneer offers free paper shredding services at our branches for our members. Visit any branch with your papers and we’ll make sure it’s destroyed and disposed of.
Learn more about Pioneer's Paper Shredding