In Valid Logic

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Going paperless realistic?

Is going paperless realistic? In my eforts to get my finances, documents, and office nicely organized and maintained, I've been thinking about going completely paperless. In my opinion, there are two limitations: getting and staying organized, and minimal amount of effort.

For starters, I need to be able to get very organized so that I can quickly and easily find what I am looking for, and also be able to quickly and easily file away data that I acrue. For instance, if I scan in a cable bill, will want to store it away and be able to easily retrieve it by a couple means... maybe I search for Comcast and get all my cable bills. Maybe search for March 2006 and get all my bills for March 2006. I was thinking of scanning everything and loading them into OneNote, but I don't think it would facilitate the kind of tagging I want. I do want something that can save the actual content, and not the files. IE, don't want it to store a bunch of PDFs. I want it to store the content so I can easily view it, support some nice OCR or something, searchable, and tagable.

Secondly, I don't want to exert much effort to load new data once it is all set up. Otherwise, stuff will pile up and I'll never get it done. Then the amount of effort to get it all done builds and I'm even more detered. One way to help is a fast duplex scanner, but the other half is getting the data into the program. Something like the "Send to OneNote" virtual printer would be good... if I am using OneNote.

One thing I wouldn't go paperless with is receipts for everyday things. I just get too many of those and it wouldn't be worth while to scan all of them. I'd keep this to just bills and larger purchases. For small things like dinning out, groceries, and day-to-day things, I'd just continue doing what I've been doing... put them in a ziplock bag at the end of the month and store them in my file cabinet. Keeps them nice, compact, and organized by month.

Anyone else tried to go paperless? Any recommendations on applications to store and organize things and the process of loading things?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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