Have you started to go digital with some, or all of your “paperwork”? This is a subject I encounter a lot when working on paper clutter. Some people are totally digital and do almost everything on their computer, phone etc…others are totally uncomfortable and will never let go of the paper! Most of us fall somewhere in between.
If you are ready to go digital, read on to learn how to make this transition.
If you’re still a little tentative, that’s okay. You can dip your toes in the water and acclimate as you go.
Let’s start with a little test to see how comfortable you are will the world of technology. See how many of the following you answer yes to.
- I love reading books on my kindle or another electronic reader.
- I do more online shopping than in stores.
- I have set up online account access to my banks, utilities and other accounts I use frequently.
- I hate paperwork, it’s piling up everywhere!
- I use a digital calendar (on my phone or computer or both).
- I check my emails regularly (more than once a day).
- I use social media like Facebook, Twitter etc.
- I read blogs or other media online to stay informed and connected.
Digital Novice or Paperless Pro? Where do you fall in the Tech Savvy Spectrum?
If you answered yes to 3-5 of these then you are definitely ready to go digital, at least partially!
The most frequent question or concern I get about going digital is the issue of security. There is no foolproof system and your personal information could be stolen via an online source you are not even aware of or at a restaurant or via a piece of mail. Assessing your adversity to risk will help you determine which accounts you are more comfortable with going digital. Large financial institutions and municipal utility companies have systems in place to protect your identity, but again, there is no such thing as absolutely safe! The great thing about going digital is that if you do encounter a problem with your account security, you will be aware of it and be able to respond to it more quickly! That’s often the best defense!
Where to start? Based on your answers to the questions above, pick one or two areas to add to your “digital” workspace.
In general the process of going digital will work something like this:
- Go to the business website, create an online account and save your username and password in a secure location.
- Go through a “tutorial” or just click around until you are familiar with the basic layout of the pages. Look for “tabs” or hyperlinks that will help you navigate the different menus and tools.
- Find your profile and settings. Often they are near one another and settings sometimes look like a little gear wheel. Check your personal information in your profile to be sure it’s all correct.
- “Go paperless”-this is usually under settings and you can choose all or nothing depending on the company.
- Check your email and “verify” your account (sometimes you must do this before you can even log in and navigate around).
- Check your account regularly and download statements or pay bills online. In some cases you can set up a bank account to do this, in other cases (financial institutions) you can link utilities and other bills to be paid to your checking or savings accounts.
For help with setting up online accounts there will be specific resources available for each situation. In general, most banks, financial firms, utilities and phone companies probably already send you “go paperless” inserts in your snail mail. If you have one of those handy, that’s a great place to start! I hope this simple guide will help you to determine if your ready to go digital. Try setting up a digital account or two to help reduce the paper clutter in your home or office. Once you’ve transformed your paper clutter to digital, keep you digital files organized with my helpful guide to creating a digital file structure.