5 Ways that Going Paperless Has Improved Our Lives
Learn the best benefits of going paperless, getting rid of paper clutter, and having all of your most important information at your fingertips at all times!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
More than 10 years ago now, Donnie came to me with an idea that seemed kind of crazy. He was sick of all of our paper clutter and our mess of a filing cabinet– so much so that we had completely been avoiding our home office where our mess of paperwork lived– so he suggested that we go “paperless.”
By going paperless, Donnie meant that he wanted to scan all of our documents and create a “digital filing cabinet” in an app/program called Evernote. This would allow us to get rid of nearly all of our physical paperwork and access our documents in the Evernote app on our phones and computers anytime we needed them.
At first I humored him, thinking that this was some sort of temporary hobby that he would give up in a few weeks. Even after he started scanning and purging our mountains of old papers, I was skeptical. Would digitizing all of our documents and files really make that big of a difference?
Little did I know that his one little suggestion would be a total game changer for our family.
Here we are 10+ years later, still paperless. We don’t even own a physical filing cabinet. And we could not be more thrilled about it! So what has been so great about this whole going paperless thing? Well, I’m so glad you asked… 😉
The Top 5 Benefits of Going Paperless
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1. Going paperless is a lifesaver for scatterbrained people like me.
I may talk about organization a whole lot on the blog, but it’s been a long road getting here. Naturally, I’m actually pretty scatterbrained! Unless I have something written down on a list, I’m likely to forget it.
Like the one time I forgot to put our new insurance card in the car and didn’t have it when the auto repair place needed to see it. Instead of having to run back home to grab it or call my insurance company to have them fax it over, I was able to use my phone to pull up the copy of the insurance card that Donnie had scanned into Evernote. I could then email it to the mechanic within seconds.
Another time when we were taking Caleb to have a minor procedure done, I forgot to bring a piece of paper with important details on it. (#mommyfail. But in my defense, we had to be there at 5 am!) Donnie’s paperless system came to the rescue again. We were able to access the digital version of the paperwork from our phones and get the info we needed.
2. Evernote is like Pinterest for my whole life.
Evernote, the app/program we use to store our information digitally, kind of feels like a personal Pinterest on steroids. I can save and organize important blog posts, articles, and ideas. AND all of my personal information is also neatly sorted and available in a few clicks any time I need it.
I was grocery shopping once, for example, and couldn’t remember the exact dietary restrictions the doctor had given one of our family members. Not wanting to buy the wrong foods, I was able to access Evernote on my phone. I pulled up a copy of the literature from the doctor that we had scanned, which listed what was okay and what wasn’t. Problem solved!
I also use Evernote to make lists, keep track of goals, stay on top of tasks and projects, and more. Everything is all together in one convenient spot, and I can access it on my computer, tablet, or phone at any time.
Though unlike Pinterest, all of my information stored in Evernote is private and for my use only. So unless I choose to share my files with someone, they are locked down tight!
(Wondering what all tools you need to go paperless? Get our tech guide by clicking on the button below!)
The Paperless Tech Stack: Essential Tools You’ll Need to Create Your Digital Filing Cabinet in 2023
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3. Going paperless makes tax time super easy.
When tax time approaches, we are never running around like crazy people trying to gather up receipts and paperwork! Throughout the year, we have already scanned, tagged, and organized all of our pertinent documents and have them all ready to go when it’s time to tackle taxes.
This eliminates a ton of stress and saves us time, too. We always know where our important documents are and can access them with just a few clicks.
4. Going paperless helps to eliminate clutter.
If you have been around this blog for very long at all, you know that I hate, hate, hate clutter! I am constantly decluttering and rearranging and organizing to try to eliminate as much clutter as possible from our home.
With our paperless system, one huge area of clutter– paper– is automatically eliminated. I don’t have to worry about searching through a filing cabinet to find a piece of paper that I may or may not have kept. We don’t have random stacks of paper laying around our house that need to be filed.
And not only do we not have the clutter that paper brings, but we can easily get to a digital copy of that would-be clutter-causing-but-sometimes-important paperwork any time we want.
5. Going paperless gives us peace of mind.
This may be my most favorite feature of going paperless! Since we have all of our important information stored digitally with multiple backups, we never have to worry about losing or misplacing documents.
We don’t have to worry about paperwork getting ruined if something would happen to a filing cabinet. And we don’t even have to worry about forgetting paperwork or not having information at appointments or if we’re traveling. We always have everything we need right at our fingertips, and that’s pretty powerful stuff.
I may have been skeptical at first, but this was definitely one of those instances when I had to swallow my pride and tell Donnie, “You were right! Paperless is most definitely the way to go!” It has truly made a hugely positive impact on our home, our organizational systems, and our lives.
We hope that going paperless will be as impactful for you as it has been for us!
Want to learn more about going paperless? These posts can help:
If you have any tips or tricks on curbing paper clutter or going paperless, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Thank you so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Hi, Abby ~ I’ve been slowly working toward getting our house/family paperless. Thanks for your post today. It’s motivating to hear the practical ways being paperless comes to the rescue. Plus, I really hate filing! Looking forward to the new book!
Amen– I hate filing too! Good for you for taking the leap and going paperless! I know it has been a life saver for us!
I really need to make the jump and do this… I have so many piles. Is the maintenance hard? I feel like I’d get everything done and then end up with piles of things I need to add.
The maintenance really isn’t hard at all. Donnie has a physical inbox where he puts incoming paperwork. Then once or twice a week, he takes a few minutes to scan it in and tag it to the correct place in Evernote. That’s it! Hope you’re having a great day, Krista!
This is on my to-do list for this year! The office is the only place in the house that is still uber cluttered and disorganized. The only way I can stand it is I don’t go in there much. My husband works from home but he doesn’t mind the clutter (so he says). By the end of the year that room is going to be organized and the paperwork is going away. Thanks for the inspiration!
Girl, that was so our story. We were literally shoving paperwork under the door of the office so that we didn’t have to open it and be faced with our mounds and mounds of paperwork! Going paperless has been a lifesaver for us– I know it will be for you too!!
i think the idea of going backwards is what holds me back. I think I need to start with items that are coming in to get the hang of it. Unless Donnie will travel!!!
What a great idea! This would have been so handy to know for all the trips I’ve made to the BMV and not had the right documents or not enough of the right documents. I can already think of so many ways this would make my life easier.
I love the clutter free paperless life, and I am fortunate enough to have a loving husband who makes that happen!
I have been told by my digital marketing mentor to become paper free in the office. We already use Asana for project managing and assigning tasks in the business but now we are starting to use it to record and assign tasks at team meetings as well. Just discovered Evernote, need to get my head around how to use it though, I think the Paperless Home is going to be a go to resource for me, looking forward to it coming out.
Asana is a great tool! I haven’t committed to it but it’s definitely a powerful project management app.
Great post. It’s reminding me why I’m making the effort to convert our household to paperless.
Unlike some families, I’m the techie in the household so I bear the responsibility for getting the paperless thing going. For me, the hardest part has been finding the best workflow in Evernote itself. Lots of notebooks with tags, fewer notebooks with tags, very few notebooks with more tags…etc. I just started with what I thought would work but found that it became less than optimal after a few months of using it. As I research, everyone seems to have a different opinion on the best way to optimally use Evernote so I guess it comes down to personal preference and everyone’s unique situation. But your post has encouraged me to get moving again, as best I can, and keep working towards a completely paperless home. I truly long for that.
Thanks again! It’s fun to see you and Donnie working together on your blog posts. I hope you get a chance to do more of these together. 🙂
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Rae! I think what you said is very true– the “best” way to use Evernote will be different for everyone. Thankfully, it’s a very flexible and easily maneuverable program! Best of luck with your paperless journey!
The thought of going paperless makes me cringe. I know it is a good thing but the thought of giving up my paper is scary to me. It took me forever to put my schedule on my phone/computer instead of carrying my “bible” with me. That’s what my family called it. lol. So now I find myself once again in scary territory. I see the benefit of going paperless but the actual doing it scares me. So I have decided to get your ebook and put my “big girl panties on” and go for it. Your story gave me courage to make the leap! Thank you so much for all of your sharing!
Have a great day and happy posting!!
You can do it! I, too, am naturally a pen and paper girl, but with Donnie’s influence I am slowly going more and more paperless, even with the little things! Best of luck with your paperless journey!! 🙂
Is Evernote the only app you use in your Paperless System? Is that on what you will base your teachings?
Hi, Cath! We house our digital filing cabinet in Evernote, and Paperless Made Simple is taught using Evernote as its basis. We also use a scanning app to scan our paper files. I hope this helps!
how will the course be delivered? a book? or paperless? 🙂
Hi, Lorrie! The course is delivered digitally (via the Kajabi course platform). The videos in the course are a mix of Donnie and I talking with a slide presentation and screencast videos showing how to do various things in Evernote, etc. I hope this helps!
Thank you for this video/post and the inspirational reminder of the benefits of going paperless! How will the new course differ from the paperless ebook from 2015??
Hi there! Great question! We ended up discontinuing the ebook because Evernote changed, technology changed, and it became out of date. Paperless Made Simple has all of our current technology recommendations, includes more + improved info about Evernote, and teaches the process we currently use to maintain our paperless lifestyle. Paperless Made Simple is in video format rather than written format. I hope this helps!