Since I started scanning documents on my iPhone, I've been really enjoying the paper-free life. Bills, paystubs, voided checks, receipts, leases, pet documents, you name it--it all gets scanned with my phone, saved, and I instantly rip up the papers and throw them in the trash.
Give this method of organizing documents a try--it will do wonders for your drawers, put files right at your fingertips, and make future organization so much easier. And, because you're using a device you always have on you, it's super easy.
1. Create a Dropbox Account
If you don't already have it, download Dropbox now. It's the best way to store all your important files on the cloud, and it's totally free. In your Dropbox folder, create a folder for important documents. While you're at it, create sub-folders for any important documents you regularly keep track of--bills, receipts, work--however it makes sense for you to organize them.
2. Download TurboScan
TurboScan is an amazingly useful app that allows you to scan and save images, and it's only $1.99. It uses your iPhone's camera to take pictures of your files, and automatically adjusts the lighting and contrast of the image to get the clearest text possible. It also allows you to save files in PDF format, e-mail them to yourself, or save them to Dropbox. TurboScan will allow you to open your saved files in any application that supports PDFs--including apps like Dropbox and Evernote. If you open an image in Dropbox, it will allow you to save the document to the folder you created in step 1.
3. Scan away!
The most important part of this system is scanning everything you have lying around, and immediately scanning anything important that you get. It's a little unrealistic to scan every document you've accumulated over the years, but scan the most important ones, and continue to scan any new documents you receive. Since you're saving everything to Dropbox, you'll be able to search and access all your documents from any device, whenever you need to. Looking for a new apartment? You'll have all your paystubs right on your phone, and ready to forward to a prospective landlord. Bank documents, too. And, best of all, you won't have piles of paper lying around!
(Image: Ambika Subramony)