Going paperless

Scan to PDF

Going paperless is not only environmentally friendly, but also has many added benefits. It is a good way to help de-clutter your life and organize information for greater accessibility. Setting up a quick ‘Scan to PDF’ function on a scanner, along with ‘Print to PDF’ on your computer will help immensely.

Many of the new scanners on the market are now supporting ‘Scan to PDF’ buttons right on the console. Recently, I acquired an HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless, which has saved me plenty of time. You can use it as a fax machine, copier, and printer. However, the main reason I purchased it was for the scanning capabilities. This device can be installed in minutes on your home or office network and allows you to easily place a stack of papers (due to the multi-page sheet feeder), press a button, and instantly have all those papers emailed or saved as a PDF. Fantastic!

If you install a free program, such as CutePDF or doPDF you can view an email, website, or a document and ‘print’ it to a PDF file.

The next step is to rename the generic PDF files you are creating to something meaningful so that you can easily find it when needed.

Using a variety of free remote desktop services and programs, such as LogMeIn allows you to easily access documents that you need remotely. This can be very powerful for many people and it helps reduce the amount of paper stacks in your home or office.

Of course, you need to ensure that you properly secure these files and remember to backup, backup, backup.

Certainly, there are many documents in our world which still need to be kept; however, these tips can help make you more efficient by saving you time and space. Plus, it’s easier to share information with your contacts.

  1. Wow, this could save me a lot of time and paper! Very environmentally friendly!

  2. I remember a few years ago I was taking some online high-school math class. I always was printing out assignments and using a pencil write out equations by hand. I| would usually scan all the pages of my assignment into Photoshop and generate a PDF from that, It definitely worked out for me since I ended up getting my grades back the fastest that method, e

  3. This is very convenient. I ate wasting paper, and keeping up with it. Doing it this way, makes it so easy to organize your notes, and thoughts, then look back over them. I would not be surprised in the near future, if all textbook were taken away, and replaced with i pad like devices. This would help students and teachers organize their task better, and keep students from hurting themselves carrying heavy books around all day.

    • Same here! I’d love it if everything was digital now! I really think it would be way more Eco-friendly that way, printed books are such a waste of paper! It’s time we make some changes, this would be a really good one for our planet. I truly hope we really switch to digital soon, we owe it to our wonderful world! No more trees getting chopped down to make paper for books…!

  4. I have one of those all-in-one type of printer and it has been very useful especially with my parents. Aside from less worry about clutter, it’s easier to find documents that way. If my father’s panicking over losing an important document, I’ll just have a copy printed out. Then I save all these documents over DropBox as backup.

  5. Thanks for reccomending the turn-into-pdf programs! I was searching for something similar.
    I like reading on real paper, it just goes so much more easily on my eyes and I read much faster on paper rather on a digital screen. But I fully understand the importance of text files too, so I want to make the best out of them both.

  6. I recently did a bit of research on OCRs or Optical Character Recognition systems and I must say they are very useful in today’s day and age.

    They can automatically scan the pages and convert the content text form! Really amazing technology.

  7. I also own a multi-purpose printer. I use the scan to pdf button all the time. What a nice little function it is. I am sort of surprised that we have this type of technology so soon. It sure does save a lot of time and effort.

  8. I could really use one of these to be honest. The simplicity of digital organization is much better than having a bunch of papers in real life. Wonder where I could buy a scanner like this.

  9. I have one of these and I absolutely love it. It comes in handy all of the time and is easy to tote around if needed. I like that I’m saving paper on my end and hopefully on someone else’s too.

  10. My household very recently made the switch to scanning documents to PDF instead of physically filing papers and printing to PDF rather than to paper when possible. I can tell you that it was a decision that was probably 5 years overdue. You don’t really realize how much stuff you end up keeping for “just in case” reasons. In combination with paperless billing which is a pretty common offering these days, our clutter and filing has dropped dramatically. Anything we may want to keep around we just scan and archive; loan docs, school forms, paper bills, tax info, you name it. We ended up going with Doxie for our needs. We chose it because it has really, really good OCR, it is cordless (completely wireless via an eye-fi card, which I do not use yet) and the processes of scanning and archiving documents can be done separately. Love it.

  11. Awesome! I’m actually thinking of scanning some of my books to PDF, I figure out I could have an easier time and more motivation to finally read them if I can scan them and store them in my PC. After all I spend quite some time reading and watching a lot things online, yes, even real books! So this sounds like a really good and logical idea. I might try it one day, once I can get a scanner.

  12. This is a fantastic and environmentally friendly method to keep the paperless trend going. I remember how much I use to prefer having my mail delivered to me in the mail until the internet began to rise to prominence so much that I’d rather get all the utility bills on an online account. But I love the scan to PDF idea, especially when it comes to copying documents that you don’t want to necessarily print out but have an electronic copy of. It’s great! Great for schools, students, businesses, business people, workers or simply for personal usage. A benefit can come in some way from its use.

  13. Thanks for the great tip! I converted several documents to PDF and it’s been working great. I think Hermes from Futurama would love this litter free and earth friendly bureaucracy system.

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