Monday, July 13, 2009

Going Digital, Paperless and Still Remaining Organized

  1. Convert hard copy items to digital. For the most part, everything is digital. You may need to scan or digitize some items. Don’t try and digitize EVERYTHING NOW, just those items you need NOW. Digitize the others as time permits.
  2. Develop a digital filing cabinet. A place for everything and everything in its place. Using tags to quickly sort and find items can make retrieval quick and painless. There are several applications that will let you create tags for items.
  3. Digital to-do lists. Whether using the email as a to-do list or reminder, digital formats will be available and you won’t have to worry about misplacing a post-it note. I have known some who use their voice mail as a to-do or reminder system.
  4. Use an electronic or digital calendar. It’s so easy to add events AND attach files to a calendar event.
  5. Thumb drives or flash drives provide the greatest sense of mobility. There are computers almost everywhere. A flash drive is much smaller and lighter than a stack of folders and notes.
  6. Backup, backup and backup. Going digital and paperless relies heavily on technology. If something (or some device) crashes AND you have no backup, you may have problems.
  7. REGULARLY access multiple computers and keep your bookmarks (URLS) updated or “synched” with a number of web-based applications.
  8. Link multiple documents together with HYPERLINKS. Most applications will allow you to hyperlink documents (creating a virtual table of contents).
  9. Some applications now have a “versioning” feature where you can save versions AND roll back to a particular version. No real need to have multiple files anymore.
  10. Digital phones, or SMART phones are wonderful! Having many of the features of a computer, you can check email, browse the web and view files with one common device.
  11. Several applications that have helped me go digital, paperless and remain organized include Google Documents, Google Forms, Google Sites and Evernote (just to name a few).
  12. Try some small step. It may be difficult at first (there may a tendency to walk by a copy machine and WANT to copy something).
  13. By going digital I can quickly update and revise materials.
  14. By going paperless I eliminate the “the copy machine’s out of paper/toner.”
  15. By going digital AND paperless I have found myself a bit more organized and able to find things quicker.

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