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10 selfish reasons to go paperless

photo: flickr/okreitz

There may be as many reasons for going paperless as there are people who attempt it.
Here are some of mine.

  1. to reduce my stress level
  2. to become better organized
  3. to increase my productivity
  4. to increase my creativity
  5. to increase my sense of peace and well-being
  6. to have a tidier space in which to work
  7. to avoid having to file papers
  8. to be able to search everything effortlessly
  9. to be able to retrieve my information while away from the office
  10. to protect my information in the event of a disaster

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t listed any oft-cited going-green benefits.

Going paperless does have a multitude of environmental benefits, including saving trees, decreasing emission of greenhouse gasses, and reducing fuel consumption. And these are all important factors that may influence our individual decisions to go paperless.

But I know I will need some strong what’s-in-it-for-me motivations to make it through this transition. And that’s why I’ve chosen to compile the list in this manner.

What reasons—either selfish or altruistic—can you add to the list?

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  • http://twitter.com/leangreenmom Leah Ingram

    To save me money. Not that reams of paper are super expensive, but the less paper you use, the fewer times you'll need to replenish your paper supply. And in my frugal book, that makes a lot of sense!

    Leah

  • denisereynolds

    ,

    Denise Reynolds will be unavailable until January. She will not be attending to email while she is away. If your correspondence is truly of an urgent nature, please call 954-667-3350 and your call will be forwarded to someone who can assist you. Replies to urgent messages will be dispatched approximately once a week.

    If you have other, routine business correspondence, Denise will be back at her desk in January. Thank you for your patience during this extended absence.

    Denise Reynolds

    (This message is an automatic response. There is no need to reply to this message)

  • denisereynolds

    ,

    Denise Reynolds will be unavailable until January. She will not be attending to email while she is away. If your correspondence is truly of an urgent nature, please call 954-667-3350 and your call will be forwarded to someone who can assist you. Replies to urgent messages will be dispatched approximately once a week.

    If you have other, routine business correspondence, Denise will be back at her desk in January. Thank you for your patience during this extended absence.

    Denise Reynolds

    (This message is an automatic response. There is no need to reply to this message)

  • Dave

    Hi Denise! I love your blog so far, especially since I'm a big fan of going paperless. I've been on the journey for about a year now, and I'd say I'm about 70% there.

    One thing that keeps me awake at night is what happens if I get hit by a bus and my wife has to figure this all out?? She's very NON technical and can barely remember a simple password. I have stuff locked down pretty tight with encryption and strong passwords since our entire life is pretty much digital now. There are also SO many online accounts to deal with and I handle all the finances and bill paying too.

    I backup onsite using an external drive, and offsite using Synplicity, in case there would be a fire or my laptop hard drive would crash.

    But, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my wife would have absolutely NO clue how or where to access anything.

    Have you given this particular issue much thought?

  • denisereynolds

    ,

    Denise Reynolds will be unavailable until January. She will not be attending to email while she is away. If your correspondence is truly of an urgent nature, please call 954-667-3350 and your call will be forwarded to someone who can assist you. Replies to urgent messages will be dispatched approximately once a week.

    If you have other, routine business correspondence, Denise will be back at her desk in January. Thank you for your patience during this extended absence.

    Denise Reynolds

    (This message is an automatic response. There is no need to reply to this message)

  • denisereynolds

    Great question, Dave!

    In my house, the answer to this would be: the kids! If you have kids, chances are they're not NON technical, and if they are of a sufficient age that you could rely on them to stand in for you, technologically speaking, that may be an option. Or perhaps you could sit with a trusted friend or relative and go through the basics of your system; actual passwords could be left in a safe deposit box for your wife, in an envelope co-addressed to her and your confidant.

    Anyone else have suggestions for Dave?

    Lacking that, you may want to check out The SAFE at http://www.lifelinksafe.com. It seems to be designed for situations like yours, to provide a spouse with peace of mind and access to vital records. It's PC-only, but I think someone else makes a similar product for Mac.