As this article is born, I am sitting surrounded by hundred of personal documents and slowly taking photos so that to throw the original papers out. If you know me, you are very well aware how I dislike to throw anything personal, and even to such an extent that if t-shirts or underwear get holes, sentiments and attachment “protects” me to throw them out. If it is on the verge of ridiculousness, then my broken clothes could be used to clean the windows or serve in other useful ways “till the last breath”. Yes, I was being pointed and “bullied” by girlfriend and mother to do something about it, but that was not convincing. Everyone has some strange habits, but “collectmania” is not that uncommon and in some ways rewarding. However, recently I discovered a literally lightening method to sort out “paper accumulation” issue – go paperless (digitize everything) or in other words take photos of the important papers and throw originals away.
By being paperless or having all the papers digitized “inside” laptop, the feeling of throwing out something potentially important is gone and at the same time there is more space for other documents (rhetoric question: arent we going in circles?). If your space is tight, and my life on the boat is very needy for the space, it is “expensive” to maintain a habit to accumulate the things and just store them somewhere. What is more beautiful, it opens up for unexpected new possibilities, for instance, to find the old papers easier.
Digitization allows to arrange digital files in a more organized way and have a quicker access to the documents. It is not anymore necessary to surf through a pile of documents to find (or not) the necessary document.
Go paperless and feel lighter. Getting rid of the physical items particularly well works when going out to meet friends and sightseeing. Try to have nothing with you and compare the feeling! Personally, i had a habit to carry a whole bag of things with me everywhere i go in case something gets necessary, but what is the likelihood of real use of all the things comparing to the weight carried and reduced mobility? Now I dont even take coins with me and try to use only debit and other cards to pay, travel or shop.
When you are paperless, it is easier to clean the space and cleaner space means less dust (and mold), better air, better health. It is particularly relevant for allergic people, like me.
Having all the benefits, next step is to digitize immediately. It is however inevitable that papers will start to pile up again and as with the cleaning in general – the more messy everything becomes, the more likely the impulse to clean pops out. Digitization helps to control, reduce or postpone the mess.
Thinking wide about the digitization, a memory of my friend pops out, who said that one day people will hardly be able even to handwrite, because everything will be digitalized and we will learn in schools only to type on keyboards. Is it provoking? Digitization is definitely one of those innovations that will continue to reshape our lives. I am not sure whether we will abandon handwriting, but am sure we need to get the best out of digitization. According to some research, 72% of Brits still feel handwritten letters are the most “heartfelt” way of communicating, though most uses digital methods.
As this article is about to end, so is my paperless session. Outcome – it feels good, lighter and much more in control of the things I have. Now it is your turn to tell me, whether you do digitization, how do you feel and whether it helps?
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