The Most Important Documents to Scan, Store & Shred – Global Outings™

Erins_File_SystemHello Paperless World!

I’m off on a campaign to rid myself of my final 3 boxes of files. I don’t have a lot of paper anyway, and now I won’t have any! (Well, very little anyway…)

My goal is only 1 file box of paper – mainly 7 years of tax returns, a few pieces from my writing portfolio and about 10 files of current information. After only 4 ½ hours of sorting paper, I achieved my goal! Yippee!

Here’re 3 reasons why scanning is so great:

Benefit #1 – Preserving Memories

Photos: Several years ago, I went through and found my favorite 200 photos and took them in to have them scanned and uploaded on a CD. I used a shop called Digital Pickle and if I remember correctly they charged between $0.25 -$0.40 cents a photo (depending on the quantity). So, for less than $100 bucks, my most precious memories are preserved. Totally worth it!

I’ve also recently took apart a few photo albums, deciding to ditch the bulky bound books and just save the photos. These are in a pile to be scanned and placed into digital files that I can easily access. In all, I’m a little less enamored with scrap books than I used to be.

Benefit #2 – On-the-Road Access

This information usually falls into the category of “you don’t need it, ’till you need it.”

  •  Medical: Eyeglass prescription, doctor’s contact information, health insurance policy information, international health card with current vaccination record.
  •  Identification: Copies of your passport, driver’s license, social security card – all helpful if you lose your wallet and need to replace these documents.
  • · Legal: Copies of trademark applications, client and subcontractor contracts, wills and power of attorney documents.
  • · Business: Copies of taxes, marketing and portfolio materials, including branding files and logos, and current / recent client work to draw on.
  • · Creative: Back up files containing creative writing pieces. You never know when you’ll be inspired and need to finish that short story now!

Benefit #3 – Shared Information

The great thing about all my scanned documents is that I store them on my virtual vault, which not only allows me to access the information from anywhere in the world, but allows others to access the documents too.

pile_of_shreddingFor instance, if I’m in a tragic accident, I’ll have my insurance card with me, but it’s probably a family member who’s going to help navigate the insurance policy to ensure I get repatriated home for care. With the scanned docs, she’ll (ok, ok, this will probably be Mom) have immediate access to all my insurance policy information.

A Shredding Fiesta

Wow – I feel “lighter” already – Like I’ve literally shed my skin! And now that the sorting and scanning is done, I’m about to embark on a shredding party. Attendees: me and several Corona and Mary J. Blige.

So what better way to spend a cold rainy Sunday afternoon? Start your own paperless campaign next weekend! And think how you can use all that shredded paper to ship your holiday presents!


This entry was posted on Monday, December 6th, 2010 and is filed under Before You Go.

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