Going Paperless

a photo of a five-drawer filing system
A picture (or in this case, a scan) is worth a thousand file folders...

This winter I finished a project I started in June of 2010 and posted what I thought was this innocuous little picture of what is left of my paper-based filling system–a tiny set of file drawers that fits next to my desk and is small enough to fit in a suitcase–on Facebook. It set off a lively discussion that continued right into the next morning at school drop-off and I realized that a blog post was in order. It’s a sad fact of life that expat life, no matter how amazing, is unpredictable. And moving your entire life to a new country is never easy. It’s even more difficult, however, when your filing system resembles the Library of Congress in size and complexity.

Last year I wrote about decluttering your child’s artwork and about the huge purge we did in anticipation of our international move, but now I want to focus specifically on how I moved my filing to a paperless system.

  1. Choose your tool
  2. Start with the present
  3. Purge & scan
  4. Maintenance Tips

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