Green industries are no longer defined by the content of their work. Finance, technology, fashion, and even real estate can be “green jobs” to those who have a concern for the planet and a way to reduce their carbon footprint. The Internet has vastly reduced the amount of driving a realtor must do. But there still is a mountain of paper. Historically real estate offices are filled with papers, brochures and filing cabinets. This past January I read a few blogs on having a paperless life. I have been plagued all of my life as being a Piler not a filer. The idea of going paperless, yet having access to everything I need, was both scary and thrilling. David Sparks wrote a book called Paperless that jump-started my paperless journey. He said you needed the equipment, a process, and a way to access information once it was scanned.
Cameras, scanners, smart phones, fax machines, and laptops make living a paperless life not only attainable, but actually enjoyable. One of the first things I did was upgrade my technology. The tools I chose to make my life paperless took a bit of research and a lot of hands-on learning, but it\’s been well worth the investment. I have a Canon camera, a Fujitsu scanner, a Doxie portable scanner, an iPad, an iPhone, and my mac. I also investigated various apps and programs to help me organize electronic documents, making the move from paper to digital as seamless as possible. Some of my favorites are Hazel, SnapManager, Evernote, Neat, and Alfred. When using these programs, make sure you don’t leave anything floating in cyberspace, but that you name and file documents as you would for papers. The idea is to use these apps as you scan documents, naming each paper in a systematic method so that you can search using a date or a few keywords, and locate anything you need.
My move to a paperless life has been a process with challenges and frustrations. But I’m getting the hang of it now, and with a few small changes in daily habits, I am transitioning to a sleeker, more efficient and lighter professional life.