5 tools to live a paperless lifestyle
I hate paper because it creates trash, and naturally being a lazy person I hate taking out the trash. I also hate going home for the menial task of picking up mail. Over the past year I have completely transitioned to a paperless lifestyle. With tech the way it is today it is a very easy thing to do
1) Unsubscribe from everything
Gather around all of your junk mail and find the company that sends them. Call them or find their website and ask them to stop delivery of all of there mail. As it turns out most junk mail is sent by a few marketing associations and GEICO Auto Insurance, contact them and see your useless mail disappear. I moved out of my apartment nearly a year ago, so not having a permanent address also helps in the elimination of junk mail.
2) Electronic billing
Make a list of all of your utilities and bank accounts. Get electronic billing set up with them and request to send all bills and statements to your email address.
3) Mail Forwarding
There are services that scan what mail you do have and send the images to your mailbox. I am a member of Traveling Mailbox and it only costs me $25 per month. If you need to have the peice of mail the serivce will foward the mail to an address of your choosing. I find the majority of mail just needs to be scanned. If you are expecting a package and are not sure where you are going to be when it arrives the service will also hold the package for you and deliver to the address of your choosing.
4) Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is important if you want to run a business remotely in the modern age. Cloud computing is a new term but in essence it is the remote hosting of critical software applications related to your business. This saves paper particularly when it comes to financial transactions. I use Outright for all of my accounting, Turbotax for tax filing, and Paypal for payment processing. Pretty much I hate depositing paper checks and printing tax forms since there are services online that eliminate the need to do so. Cloud computing also saves money since there is less overhead when most of the applications have a common license instead of individual or enterprise licensing. I use google docs for most of my office software. I still prefer Excel for spreadsheet software so I am waiting for Microsoft to catch up with the times and provide cloud access to it.
5) Mobile phones and tablets
Need directions, a calendar, a means to take a note, have a book to read?. Right now I think mobile phones and tablets are a waste of my money but the potential for their development makes me believe they will replace all paper at some point in time and I find that awesome.
Now of course I live a nomadic lifestyle mostly because I can never stay in one place for too long so I have to be paperless to the ability technology will allow me. I am not an environmentalist, I am simply a lazy cheapskate minimalist who happens to travel endlessly and getting rid of paper in my life is a certain must.