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Going Paperless at Home

There are two technological marvels that I find incredibly helpful and amazing: pdf files and scanners.

A couple of years ago, I started trying to go paperless. There are actually a lot of easy ways to make progress in this area. First, I started with online banking. My statements are no longer mailed to me, but I access them online. I download them as pdfs.

Then I started paying bills online. And with the confirmation of the payment I used a handy little feature with my printer function called “print to pdf”. I print the receipts of my online payments to pdf files and organize them by month in file folders on my computer, not in my drawer.

But I still get those pesky receipts when I go shopping. And I’m even glad for them because they help me stay organized and keep track of budget things in Quicken. But now there’s a company called The Neat Company and they have a product called NeatDesk. It’s basically a scanner that can interface with your computer to scan documents, business cards and receipts. And it has the ability to batch feed about 10 in a bunch, so you don’t have to do them one at a time.

And it will export your receipt info to Quicken and your business card info to Address Book or Outlook. I haven’t bought one yet (although it’s on my list).

The thing I’ve found with saving stuff to pdf is how easy it is to retrieve data when I need it. It’s much easier than sifting through a stack of receipts or boxes of stuff.

So give it a try. You’ll love it!

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