Wiki How – Go Paperless

Wiki How has a guide on how to go paperless.

Its pretty good – use it.

  1. Recycle! Don’t create extra waste by leaving your newspaper behind you on the bus or train; take it home or to the first paper recycling box along your way.Avoid using paper towels and napkins; opt for washable cloth towels and handkerchiefs. With the proliferation of clothes washers, washing them is no longer a chore.
  2. Do not subscribe to newspapers or magazines; opt for digital versions or just use internet for your daily fix of fresh information. Not to mention that it saves trees, you’ll have one less thing to worry about, pay less, and receive additional advantages such as convenient archiving (lugging a hard drive or a memory key around is much much easier than a stack or dozen of newspapers!) and effortless search.
  3. Switch to paperless statements. Most of utility providers and bank now offer that service for free. Pay your bills online — in most cases, it’s also free and has the added benefit of never missing a payment because your check got lost in the mail.
  4. Begin archiving your current paper data.
    • Scan at a quality low enough so that the files aren’t huge, but high enough so that your printout will be useful as a copy of the original document. Usually 300dpi is adequate unless you’re archiving photos. Use greyscale scanning to save even more memory.
    • Do not save your documents in JPG format, because jpg’s lossy compression creates artifacts that may make your document unreadable and unusable. Use PNG compression for pixel-accurate scans.
    • Use a database program that uses keywords to help you organize your scans. For every scan you add to your database, use keywords that mean something to you, like “house payment July 08” or “laptop receipt 12/23/2008 Best Buy” or “car insurance statement 20090201.” This will allow you to do a search of keywords to locate a document if you need it for something.
    • ALWAYS make 2 backups of your most important data, and keep one backup in a different location from your computer–a bank safe deposit box, a friend’s house, an online backup service are several options.
  5. Use your printer only when you *need* a paper copy of something. Some people, once they go “paperless,” end up printing everything out and having a hard copy anyway. Avoid this.

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