Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life Without: The Hardcopy

Okay, I’m not that old, but I am quite old-fashioned about things. Like in keeping records, I prefer having the hardcopy. In architecture, I’m partial to drawing by hand.

But people can change/ learn/ adapt. The other weekend, I started to scan and file old documents. It’s a start.

I have a binder that kept a record of any Ebay transactions I’ve done. I kept a printout of the closed auction, including the item description and photos, the payment invoice, the payment receipt, any note that the seller sent with the item [like thank you’s and such]. I also kept notes [usually all on the closed auction sheet] on the shipping/ delivery timing, packaging quality, item quality, any communication with the seller, etc.

I am scanning all of that, coordinating the file number with the date of sale and then coordinating the document file with an excel sheet for quick reference.

I am quite impressed with myself for getting this far. I started with the Ebay things because I am going to need money while I can’t work full-time yet, so I am figuring out what items I can resell. It helps to have the description stuff that the previous seller used so that I don’t have to wrack my brain trying to do that all over again myself. I am also deciding what I can sell for the first time.

My prior reluctance was eased by the fact that my printer/ scanner will scan to pdf format so that it will be all on one file [rather than scanning several sheets and each being an individual file]. It also helps that I have finally figured out a good file naming system, or at least I think it’ll work well. I’ve had problems with how I should name files in the past.
The other thing I did was do a whole reviewing/ filing/ tossing of other paperwork stuff I have lying around my room. I got rid of a lot of paper! I’m also impressed that I have almost [about 97%] complete records of all my bills and statements. It shows that I am getting better with being more organized.

So the next thing I plan to do is to shred the sensitive stuff and scan more of the rest. I am almost done scanning and digitally filing the Ebay records, then I plan to scan documents from my previous college.

Then most of the hardcopy I’ll keep for now is sensitive stuff and coursework from the current college. This would be about 2/3 of what I currently have.
Some things were already started awhile ago, in terms of digitizing things in order to free the hardcopy. I’m thinking of closet cleanings I’ve been doing and other donated items. If I was definite that I have a photo of me wearing something, I was more likely to donate the clothing item. I plan to photograph and donate more items, like stuffed animals definitely [I was never much of a collector or displayer of dolls, they’re mostly lying around in plastic storage from when someone gave them to me].

Things that will be last to go on my list of getting rid of hardcopies are books and CDs. I like having them displayed and within reach. I’m getting better but still not quite comfortable buying music online. I like being able to pull out a CD quickly and see what is on it. I don’t mind having all the unpopular songs because some of those I enjoy more than the chart-toppers, sometimes. Books will probably always be an offline enjoyment for me.

What are your preferences for keeping records and other items?