We are in the 4th quarter and most businesses are starting to plan for 2019.  I’m starting this process for my business with the first thing being going through my paper files.

Remember when the big thing in the future was “the paper-less office”?  Slowly, I think we are getting there, but It’s still HARD to let go of that physical document that you can easily read, touch, and write on.

What do you do with your paper?  Are you the type that needs to keep it just in case?  Is it time to get rid of that physical paper and go digital?  Here are a few tips to lessen your paper load.

  1. Use Pinterest

I love Pinterest and use my profile for personal and business.  My boards are organized by topics and then I can pin directly from a website or if I have a paper version of an article, I search for the it online and pin it.  Afraid of putting your ideas out there for the world to see?  You can create secret boards, so your ideas stay your own until you are ready to share!

  1. Get rid of those stacks of business cards

In the business world, it seems like everyone has a stack of business cards.  The easiest way to clear this clutter is to create a spreadsheet of those business cards and throw away the cards.  Don’t have time to input all that information into a spreadsheet?  Outsource it!

Want to really clear that business card stack clutter?  Throw away all those OLD business cards that you have collected and start fresh! Are you really going to follow-up with all those cards you’ve collected and haven’t touched in months (ok, maybe years)?

My suggestion before starting over is to get a system in place before starting to collect again.  It can be as easy as a spreadsheet or use a CRM.  And this time around, make sure you follow-up with the people you want to grow a relationship with.

  1. Start scanning those old documents

Purchase a good document scanner (or a printer/scanner) that can do double-sided scans.  Don’t have time to do it?  Outsource it!

  1. Create an online filing system that makes sense to you

There are so many filing options out there.  Just go with your gut and figure out a system that works for you.  If you don’t know where to start, hire a VA or a professional organizer who specializes in business/online organizing to create a system for you.

  1. Make sure you have an automatic back-up of your files

Take advantage of the free online storage out there!  You won’t have to worry about a computer crash and never being able to retrieve those files again.  I love how the cloud syncs automatically and I don’t have EVERYTHING available on my computer.  Once the file can be archived, I just un-sync it from my computer.

I promise you, you will feel like a weight has been lifted with less paper in your office… and other business owners will be jealous.