For all the talk about how the world today is “entirely digital,” it sure doesn’t feel that way sometimes. I still receive a ton of paper documents, from bills to insurance info to dog license applications. We don’t deal with as much paper as we used to, but it’s still a mess if not meticulously organized. And if you’re like me and there’s zero chance of that organization happening in person, you should do yourself a favor and make sure it’s organized digitally.
To be honest, I don’t follow this advice personally, although I definitely will going forward: This tip comes from Redditor razorhedge, who shared their experience digitizing all their documents and files. It’s a simple hack, but a good one: Turning your files digital and storing them on your phone or computer (or both) makes them always available.
Even if your IRL files are obsessively organized, you probably can’t pull out a specific document very quickly—it takes time to look through your drawer, find the right folder, and scan through the items to find the right thing. God help you if you aren’t organized. But with a digital copy, you only need to search for the file name, or, really, and keywords contained in the file, and it’ll be ready to share with any app or service.
Say you need to find the renter’s insurance you bought. Instead of combing through files or drawers, you could simply search your computer for “Renter’s Insurance 2022.” And while it’s nice to have your digital files neat and organized, they don’t really have to be. Your computer can search for files no matter where they are, so it’s not as important to keep a curated record of everything on your PC.
Of course, that’s not to say you should shove your important documents haphazardly into a drawer after you digitize. But whether or not you’re organized in real life, at least your documents will be readily available somewhere. Plus, it’s never been easier to scan documents. You don’t you need a dedicated scanner to digitize files anymore; just use your phone to take a photo of each file and send them to your computer manually, or a scanning app with additional perks like auto-cropping, PDF editing, digital signatures, and more.
If you have an iPhone, you can use the built-in document scanner. And there are plenty of third-party apps to use too, from Adobe Scan (iPhone or Android), to CamScanner (iPhone or Android). It’s a bit early to start talking New Year’s resolutions, but I might claim this one for myself.
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