Going Paperless at Home

05/16/2012

Since the start of the computer age, businesses have been going paperless to save time, space, and money. It's also easier to stay organized and there's less impact on the environment. So, how can you go paperless at home? FineMark has compiled some tips to helping you go paperless.

First, though it may seem overwhelming, start by slowly making easy changes that move you towards less and less paper. For starters, arrange to get your bills electronically, and pay them online. Set up automatic payments with your bank for recurring payments, or consider a bill-paying service. If you are uncomfortable with automatic payments, create a system reminding yourself to pay bills on time so that you don't incur past due fees or interest charges.

Sort through your existing paper. Scan all documents you need to keep and save them as a PDF (Portable Document Format). Make sure to be consistent in naming your e-files so they're easily identifiable, accessible and well-organized. Shred and recycle documents you do not need to keep, especially if they show personal information, such as account numbers or your Social Security Number. Invest in a good scanner and shredder.

Keep your e-files safe and secure by adding a firewall and using software that provides adequate security. Back up your computer at least once a month using a CD, flash drive, external hard drive, or an online remote back-up service (i.e., in the "cloud"). Use logins and passwords that are secure, and try to suppress the urge to repeat them. You can read more about creating a great password here.

Keep things like calendars, address books, recipes, and photos digitally. Purge magazines, newspapers, journals, and books from time to time, and get them online if possible. Contact senders of junk mail and catalogs you don't want and ask them to remove your name from their mailing list.

It is important to remember there are paper files you should keep, such as medical records, Social Security cards, warranties and manuals, and tax, legal, and insurance documents. Keep these vital records in one safe location and do not get rid of them.

Going paperless is a great way to get organized and reduce your impact on the environment; however, it’s not for everyone. Only move towards paperless when you feel comfortable doing so and feel confident in your online abilities to keep up with your records without paper copies.

If you have questions about going paperless on you FineMark accounts, give us a call or stop by one of our locations today. We are always happy to answer questions or help you with any of your needs.

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