How to go paperless at your Home Office

I dreamed a lot about a paperless home office and I see so many blog posts about “the ultimate items you need to have a home office” and it’s full of stuff. And I get it!! I am a stationery hoarder. I love pens, paper, I love to discover new stuff at Michaels, and I get crazy with art supplies coupons. You know that lack of self-control when you don’t need something but you want it so you pretend you need it? We all need that brand new notebook to start, or we need a really nice pen. I made a huge mistake last year, I bought a Ban.do planner because I needed it (thank goodness I didn’t buy The Happy Planner–$80 wasted) and I was hyped about it . . . for the first 3 days. But here’s the thing, on a daily basis, I use Evernote & Asana (an online planner), every time, anywhere. So, who was I trying to be? I was being ridiculous. I gave up the paper planner in 3 days. I felt so guilty. I spent $14 on paper that I won’t use anymore (it was on sale). So, I made a promise to myself: no more paper planners, no more tryouts using the Bullet Journal method.
Cross my heart-promise

Don’t get me wrong, I love the bullet journal system.

I mean, I used to love when I was at the university. It was amazing, it worked so well for me. With this memory, I tried more than once to use bullet journal in my office life and it just didn’t make any sense. I work on the computer all day. Why should I stop typing, grab a pen, open the journal, make a square, write the task if I have 2 monitors and Asana is permanently opened and all I have to do is move the mouse to the 2nd monitor, press enter and write the task?

We are trying to make our life easier, so save this energy for what it matters.

Are you struggling with these issues, too? Are you spending money on planners you don’t need and paper calendars and pens? Are you still performing all your tasks the old school way? Do you want to find a better, less time-consuming way to do your job?

Here are just a few ideas I’ve come up with to not just save energy and time (which we could always use more of), but inevitably make a difference in the world by moving in the direction of going completely paperless. I’m here to show you that all the things you think you need, you don’t actually need at all– like a paper calendar, a paper monthly calendar, magazine subscriptions, post-its, binders, file folders, stapler, three-hole punch, etc. You don’t need all this because the internet is here and it’s a beautiful thing, so let’s use it. Let’s clean up our workspaces of all the unnecessary stuff and be happier.

It’s time to get a paperless home office!

1 | Consider online calendars and organizers

Here is my first piece of advice: If you don’t have a Gmail account yet, make one. It’s free (yay!) and you will get a bunch of services for free, too. Below is the list of everything you can remove from your busy life just by signing into a free Google account.

>File Organizers/File Folders

Working on the go requires a light load; preferably just your laptop. Do you remember when we used to receive bills in the mail? Yeah, that’s all in the past now. You don’t need an organizer or file folders to keep track of when most of those bills and statements are coming in via email. Google makes it simple to organize. You can make filters on your email account, split the entire inbox by clients, bills, newsletters, and promotions. And guess what? You don’t have to print anything, it’s all saved in the cloud! Simple, right? No more file organizer cluttering your desk, no more annoying paper folders to lug around. It isn’t just Google that can help you for free, either. There are so many free online services out there; it just takes some research and a determined mind to find them. One I use on a daily basis and that I have mentioned earlier in this post is Asana. Do you have meetings scheduled on that paper calendar? Not anymore. Need to share a task with someone else in the office? Done. Asana is just one of the helpful free tools available for a busy professional on the go.

>Paper Calendars

I have 3 different calendars inside my main Google Calendar, two are shared with other people but it’s all inside one. I have never printed a page. I can see on my Android phone, my iPad and my computer, it’s responsive and there are different views (1 day, 4 days, a week, a month and agenda). I use an appointment system on my website, and every time someone books a meeting with me, I receive an email and the Google Calendar updates automatically. Seriously? How awesome is this?

>Post-its

If you like keeping post-its, but they are making a mess of your desk, your computer, and your life, this free app called Google Keep is all you need. You can even make tags for each post-it, organized by color.

2 | Purchase a second monitor

Do you do a lot of your work on your computer? If you do, I am obligated to tell you that life is too short to open and close windows on one screen all day. You don’t have to buy a brand new monitor, mine I got for $30 on Kijiji. It’s not even top-notch, it’s just an inexpensive assistant screen. Trust me, your life will change and you will have more space on the desktop to do more.

2 monitors

3 | receipt shoebox

When you run a business, it’s insane the amount of paper you accumulate through the time. Do you remember the last time that Tax Return was in paper form? I remember my dad doing it and I remember when it switched to electronic, it was so much easier. The government doesn’t want your print receipts, so why do you care to save it? Scan everything and save it on Evernote. Make tags to store them and make it easy to find. You can use AndCo or Waves. And the best part of saving electronic receipts, you’re cover in case of a disaster. Embrace the cloud. Just make sure to choose a really good password and store it in a safe place.

What kind of technologies do you use on your business?
How to go paperless at your Home Officea