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Simplify Your Life: Scan Everything! No…

2010 September 13
tags: Productivity
by Andrew   

I was watching TV the other night very intentionally being nonproductive when one of those commercials for personal receipt and home office scanners came on…

Scan everything, it said. Eliminate clutter and hassle, it said. Simplify your life…you guessed it…they said it…or at least very strongly implied it.

Don’t believe the hype.

If you’ve implemented the suggestions in GTD and have all of your stuff in a well-managed inbox that doesn’t pile up, great! If not, start reading here. But don’t buy the scanner, yet.

If you’re still wrestling with piles of paper: memos, invoices, receipts, reports, reference material, and projects, start reading here or go back and read it again.

If it’s just too much to bear and you want out from under it, don’t just toss the receipts and business documents and start over. You’ll want them if the IRS comes calling.

Everyone has at least one friend who never has piles of receipts stuck under the desk at home, and whose checkbook is always miraculously up-to-date.

Offer this friend whatever they want…money, pizza, their car washed – a lot…whatever. Ask them to help sort out the mess. Ask them why they don’t have mess. Write it down.

But, don’t spend $400 dollars on a scanner that “magically” files things for you. You don’t need a $400 paperweight. If you must have it, read this blog piece again. Get things in order before you buy incredibly expensive things that take more time to use than it takes to put. a. paper. in. a. folder.

If all you do is scan it and forget it, then it should go in…the trash.

Otherwise, scanning and correcting the recognition software’s recognition and filing errors will add more time to your filing process. Time you already aren’t spending if you’re buried under a pile of paper and contemplating an auto-filing scanner.

Be productive; have fun…

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