Can I Move Towards A Paperless Way Of Living?

paperless way of living
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

Given that almost everything is available online these days (with remote working becoming the new standard), it’s surprising just how much paperwork you can still accumulate. Going paperless isn’t just a good way to be more eco-friendly: it can also save money, and remove admin, stress, and clutter from your life. These are some of the best ways in which you can move towards a paperless way of living:

Online bank statements and bills 

Pretty much all of your bank statements and utility bills can be sent to you via email if you sign up for it. Over a month collect all the bills and statements that arrive in the post, and then sit down and visit each bank or company’s website to set up an online account or sign up for online statements and bills.

If you set up an online account for utilities like gas and electricity, it’s much easier to manage your bills, set up direct debits, and monitor what you’re spending. It’s not just bank statements and bills that can be moved online: letting agreements, contracts and insurance paperwork can usually be sent virtually in PDFs, so it’s always worth asking. And you can also sign documents virtually as well, so there’s really no need for paper versions.

Use a fuel card to reduce paper receipts 

Fuel cards are credit cards that can only be used to pay for fuel related purchases. Not only are they a good way of monitoring and managing the amount you spend on fuel, but they can also help you to go paperless. 

Most fuel cards (you can read more about them at iCompario) have an online account management system where all purchases are recorded — this means there is no need for paper receipts, invoices, or expenses forms. So you’ll be able to cut down on paper and reduce your admin.

Save important documents online 

You might be used to storing all your important documents, bills, and paperwork in big folders, but once most of these are sent to you via email you can keep them stored securely online as well — and get rid of the paper copies.

No need for safety backups: you need only set up cloud storage and create a folder online for your documents (check out Creative Bloq’s guide for more). You’ll be able to access them from anywhere at any time, but they’ll also be secure, and you won’t have to sort through loads of paperwork.

Reduce your printing 

While most things can be created, stored, and shared online without any need to print them out, if you do really have to print something then make some adjustments so that you use up less paper. Reduce the font size, adjust the page margins so you can fit more on, and print on both sides of the paper. 

Online notes and lists

Another way to cut down on paper is by taking notes and making lists online instead of using a notebook. Most smartphones will have a basic note or list app, and there are more advanced to-do list apps that will help you cut down on notebooks, diaries, and sticky notes (Lifehack has some handy suggestions). 

And whether you’re in a meeting, researching, or learning — use an online notebook instead of a pen and paper. Once you’ve typed them you’ll be able to access your notes and lists from your laptop, tablet, or phone, plus it’ll be easier to share notes with other people. 

Read online 

Most newspapers, magazines, and journals will have online formats that you can sign up to instead of subscribing to have paper copies delivered. Not only will you be cutting down the amount of paper lying around, but you’ll also save some money and realise that you don’t get round to reading everything you subscribe to. You can also switch to using a Kindle or ebook reader instead of buying paper books — they’re often cheaper to buy in digital formats and won’t take up any room. 

Opt for recycled paper 

There are some paper products that you probably can’t cut out completely such as toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels. But they have a massive environmental impact, so try to choose recycled options whenever possible and use a cloth that can be washed and reused instead of paper towels and tissues.

While you might not be able to go completely paperless just yet, following these steps will significantly reduce your paper usage, plus you’ll save some money and be more organized.