Go paperless

Save the planet.
Don’t keep drawers full of paperwork.  Instead, scan whatever papers you need into your hard drive.  Benefits:
  • Save trees
  • Find your files more easily
  • Avoid losing important papers in a disaster
  • Takes up less physical space
  • More convenient access to your files
Develop a simple filing system.
  • Set up folders to naturally classify your papers.  For example, sales invoices can go in one folder and rent bills in another.
  • In each folder, mix scans with other relevant documents, such as MS-Word files.
  • Save all scans in the same format – PDF format works.
  • A 300 DPI setting in color is usually clear enough for most papers without hogging too much disk space.
  • Use a consistent naming system.  For example, I name each file according to the date: YearMonthDate.  A memo dated “February 18, 2011” would be named “20110218.”  Then, alphabetized files will also appear in chronological order.
  • Proprietary programs for filing scanned documents (such as PaperPort) don’t add much value over simply viewing your files in Windows Explorer.
  • A cloud-based system like DropBox will back up all your files and make them available online, on a tablet and on other computers.

About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

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