Or: How to take control over my documents
Once upon a time – i filled many file folders with paper … Did i ever look anything up of it?
I once asked the secretary of my bureau, what she do with the letters from the Church Office. „I put them in the folder“. – „If you are looking for this letter, how do you do it? Or is the letter just gone?“ – „Mh – it’s just gone.“
An honest answer. So i stick to my practice which i develop as a habit for several years now – and scan …
As i wrote in an earlier post, i have at any time everything with me what i may need. And i’m able to find in a very short amount of time what i need. That why i scan everything!
“Make a digital copy of all of the most important ones that you don’t want to lose or can still come in handy.” #10stepsbook
office equipment and work flow
All i need is a document scanner and/or smartphone and an paper based filesystem A-Z.
use of document scanner and/or smartphone
I scan all my papers. The best day of my life was when i bought a document scanner. I remove the clips and the scanner scans front and back of a paper in a breeze. I use my smartphone to do the scan-job, if it is a book or something else i mustn’t destroy.
The scanned papers i take once a week to the office to the paper shredder – done!
Evernote or iCloud or Nozbe
I save the scans as searchable pdf. The file name begins with the date in the form: YYYY-MM-DD and normally i save this file in Evernote. Because my digital GTD-Manager Nozbe integrates with Evernote, i can use this pdf as reference material for a task or a project. Evernote has this amazing text search.
Very sensitive data i save in iCloud or even better in Nozbe because of its very heavy encryption.
Only very few papers i archive in my A to Z file folder system. Follow the recommendation of David Allen to use these file folders i can simply fill without punching etc. Because if it’s not simple, it will take too longe time to maintain the archive.
the disadvantage: „what do we actually have…“
If you have everything at hand at any time and any place – your are a desired person. The danger is that your colleagues rely on you – that’s a burden and a joy 😉