13: Should I go all digital?
Welcome to episode 13 of Permission to be Messy. I'm your host, JoAnn Krall and today I'm answering a question that I get asked a lot. People ask me, should I go all digital? Of course, the answer is always, it depends and I really don't like the word should. I think I've mentioned that many times.
But it really does depend. There are people out there that say going 100% digital will make your life so much more efficient.
And that can be true for many people, personally, it's not true for me.
When the pandemic hit we thought we were going to be selling our house and so I took on a huge project of getting rid of 95% of my paper. I, when I tell you I had two lateral. filing cabinets filled with paper, plus another couple of cabinets. it was all organized. But I was holding onto so much. So I took that time when we were all on lockdown to shred as much as I possibly could, I ended up with bags and bags of shredding. I did not digitize everything.
I did make sure that I put some important things into digital form, but some of the things I left and paper, so I ended up with a very small portable file box So that worked for me, but I didn't go a hundred percent digital because I know myself. I know that I would be that person who would end up with a huge amount of digital clutter. Just like I had a huge amount of paper clutter. So even though it was organized, I was holding on to things that I thought I needed. And when it, when push came to shove and I knew I was going to possibly have to move that all, it really forced me to take the time to look at everything and really examine whether I needed it or not.
So I basically hired myself. I went through my own seven step process that I help people go through and I did it for myself.
If you're thinking of going all digital. I want to make sure that you have a plan.
So the first step, as I mentioned, would be reducing as much as you possibly have. So reducing as much paper as you have that you're going to actually digitize and then before you even do anything with that, going over to your digital system and making sure it's not cluttered and that it's organized
The second step would be. You need to know where you're going to be putting things. Now, if you've already got things in multiple cloud services on your computer, on a hard drive, you want to make sure that is all. Where you want it to be so that, when you're moving in paper files where they're going to go.
And the third step would be, you need to know what you're going to use to get everything digitized. Are you going to use an actual scanner? Are you going to use your phone? both of these things, if you don't have a really fast scanner, and using the phone, it's going to take you time. So actually this process will help you understand what you want to digitize, because keep in mind that once you get this all in digital form,
you want to have a process in place for going forward. you want to have a good system flow so that you can keep up with it.
I've had a lot of clients try and go digital. they get started on one way and then they realize they want to do it a different way and it can be, it can become a nightmare.
The fourth step is to break this all down into manageable tasks.
So when you're going all digital, you want to make sure that the new stuff that's coming in is going to automatically be in digital. So for example, bills, you want to make sure that any bills that you're getting in paper, if it's possible to get them in a digital form. You want to do that? and then maybe move on to say insurances,
Anything that you can get delivered electronically. It would be really helpful to have that set up.
Credit card statements, your investment statements. You want to be aware of how long they store them digitally, because you may want to actually download them yourself. if there's something that you need to keep. Now, and that's all personal stuff. And then maybe if you have a business and you can move on into your business, you could start with your business expenses or your client files. One thing I really want to mention is you want to make sure that you're keeping. Your client's files private. There are a data privacy laws. You want to make sure that you're not storing anything that you shouldn't be storing or, and the things that you can store that you're storing them securely. You want to make sure that you have two factor authentication set up anywhere it is possible, and you want to be using really difficult passwords.
And then when you're ready to get your paper in, you want to make sure that you are shredding anything with important information, again, your own, or that of your clients. You don't want that to get in the wrong hands. either get yourself. Your own personal shredder or there are services where you can bring it and they will shred it for you.
The important thing is to make sure that you carefully plan it out before you get started. Of course, if you declutter as much as you possibly can and you reduce what's coming in, you will find this process to be so much easier.
And now with all this said, I do personally believe that going digital is a great way to go. If you can.
So as with everything, knowing yourself is super important.
But know that if you truly want to go digital and you think you might struggle with it, there are ways that we can set up. reminders or checklists that will help you make sure that those digital files don't end up in the abyss or end up being disorganized. It's all about having those systems in place.
I know for myself, I never thought I would go completely digital. And like I said, I'm not 100% digital. I've got that small file box that I still have some paper in because there are things that I just don't necessarily want to digitize. There are things that I want to be able to grab out and look at in paper. And then of course we have important documents that we can't digitize anyways. Like our passports, our birth certificates.
We all have to have a little bit of paper still in our life,
one thing I know for sure. My seven step process will help anybody thinking about making that transition or just anybody who's struggling with paper and digital clutter. And you can download a copy of that. I'm going to put a link in the show notes, but it's joannkrall.com/7-steps
it's a free guide and it walks you through my full seven step process.
And as always, I'm wishing you much productivity, peace, prosperity, and the permission to be messy. Thanks for listening.