Killing The Paper Clutter Monster

scansnap.jpgI detest clutter.

I refuse to tolerate it any longer in my life.

This week my wife and I hauled off several small truckloads of clutter to Goodwill (and some to the dump). We're got more to haul away — but we've at least identified it all and we know what we're doing about the clutter conundrum.

Next on my clutter-blusting list: paper.

Man, do I have a lot of paper. And I have found the solution (I think). If you haven't read Ken Silver's post on the Paperless Office, go read it now.

In his article, Ken says:

Here's what I do each day to win the paper war:

When paper of any kind…a magazine article I clip, an invoice, notice or bill… gets to my desk, I run it through the ScanSnap which is permanently on.

The item shows up on Windows Explorer in the supplied Adobe Acrobat 6.0 program as an untitled PDF file. I name it immediately in a COMPANY NAME – DOCUMENT NAME – ITEM – DATE format and drag it to the appropriate folder.

I have only 2 folders for all my files, marked BUSINESS and PERSONAL. The Business folder has sub-folders, each labeled as a financial year… 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 etc. There is one other sub folder which I've labeled PROJECTS.

Since my scanned files are shown in alphabetical order in Explorer – and that's the way I retrieve them too – there's no need to get any more complicated than that.

I ordered my Scansnap today and it should arrive tomorrow. I'll have more to say about this soon — but for now check out Ken's article. If you've had any experience with “going paperless”, let me know by posting your comments below.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at