Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drowning in Paper

I'm drowning in paper, here, and I'm bloody done with it. I'm not good with paper, apparently, and I'm at least decently good with electronic documents. So, since I'm clearly impaired once it enters my house, my goal has become to get rid of the paper that comes into the house in the first place.

Minor rant..... WHY can't I pay the water bill electronically? Seriously, I can make my church donation electronically (should I be so inclined, which I am not). If they can figure it out, I'm thinking the city Public Works department can figure something out. There is a rickety system, for which they charge you almost $4 to pay on-time, and then they only accept Mastercard, which I don't have and won't get for the sole purpose of paying more for the water bill. Whew. That's off my chest ;)

I have now canceled receipt of 10 catalogs. (Yikes.) All my bills have been coming electronically for a long time -although some of them still send paper copies of the bill, too. I have to get that sorted out. I have tried to cancel the free newspaper, but since 12-year-olds deliver it, success seems improbable. I've canceled most magazines, more out of embarrassment that I don't have time to read them rather than from any sense of environmentalism or organization.

Now, let's think about electronic document storage. Once I electronically pay a bill, I would like to retain electronic evidence that I DID pay it. So I want to save the e-mail that confirms payment. Obviously, I can create a google document from the email. But that stores a hideous copy -one of those 5 pages to save a one page e-mail message deals. So, I've been printing the email, immediately scanning it, and then recycling the piece of paper I used for literally 30 seconds. That's sick and wrong. What am I missing here? How do you do this?


Tim Lysyk said...

You could try printing the e-mail directly to a pdf file.

Lisa :-] said...

Csn you not create an email file for "payment confirmations"? That's what I have done with my google account.

If your bank has an electronic bill-pay option, you can pay anybody through it. Even the ones that don't bill electronically. What actually happens is that the bill pay service sends the payee a check...but at least YOU don't have to write one. However, you still have to receive the paper bill and enter the payment information each month. About as close as you can come, I think, to electronically paying someone who is still dwelling somewhere mid-last-century...

Kimberly said...

If you copy it into Word, you can save it as PDF.

I often just send myself an email with the confirmation number and relevant information in it.

LisaTV said...

There are some helpful hints here:

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