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Going Paperless Doesn't Have to Be Scary: 3 Simple Strategies That Work

Are you a wee bit scared about going paperless? Here are three strategies that will make it easy

When you first contemplate the process of going paperless, it can seem like a daunting task -- so intricate and overwhelming that it's easier not to get started at all. That's understandable, but you need to remember two things here:

First, going paperless is a process, not an event; and second, you can conquer even the most intimidating process if you break it down and work on it a piece at a time. Paperitis Team Member Floyd presents three such piecemeal strategies that you should definitely try.

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Strategy #1: Take It Easy

There's no law requiring you to implement your paperless plans overnight -- and it would be foolish to try. So unless there's an overriding reason to hurry, take it easy. Start small, and work gradually toward whatever your goals may be.

There are plenty of simple ways to keep the process rolling along that take only minutes of your time to implement, maybe an hour at most. We offer lots of suggestions here on this site.

Remember: take baby steps.

Strategy #2: Think Before You Print

Enough said, really, but it seems difficult for some people to take this strategy to heart. Many of us are comfortable with paper, and still print out files as a matter of course -- for example, when we want to read something during short-term downtime (like waiting in a line), or just for redundancy's sake.

But most of the time, it's unnecessary. It's a lot easier to make a copy of a digital file than it is to make a copy of a paper file, and when all's said and done, probably a lot cheaper, too. Sometimes you may need to print something, but at least think about if you can skip the printing or at least try to print as few pages as necessary.

If you're printing files so you can read them whenever and wherever, then Strategy #3 below is for you.

Strategy #3: Use an iPad and/or Ebook Reader

The iPad is made for going paperless. With an iPad or good ebook reader, you not only don't have to print files, you can dispense with buying most new printed books, magazines, and newspapers. Instead, purchase digital versions and read them on your device, which you can take with you just about anywhere.

The technology isn't perfect yet, but it's advancing by leaps and bounds, and has become quite affordable. The displays are clean and just as easy on the eyes as printed material is, you can change the font size (perfect for Baby Boomer eyes), and you can keep thousands of files in one light-weight, paperback-sized device.

In fact, it wasn't until the iPad came out that we felt we could go 90% paperless.