How to Preserve Personal Paper Documents

For decades, people have been searching for ways to preserve and store away old paper documents, or banish paper clutter from their lives altogether. The good news is, nowadays, if you’ve got a smart phone, computer and have access to a scanner, you have the tools you need to get the job done.

From receipts and financial statements to sentimental letters and photos, here are some simple and effective ways to preserve your old paper documents, while still being able to access them by the tap of an app or a click of your mouse.

Join a Cloud

Discovered too many receipts hidden in your pant pockets, after they wash up from the laundry? Or maybe you’ve lost too many bills under the piles of paper real estate on your desk? Get a handle on all your paper receipts/documents that need preserving with the free Lemon app (available for Android phones, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone). Keep yourself organized and save pertinent documents simply by snapping a photo and adding a label tagged “Business” or “Personal”. Lemon app arranges your documents based on your labels, and if you don’t have a smart phone, you can still email receipts to your account and manage them from there.

Get Shoeboxed

Get well organized and manage documents like business cards and receipts for your small business or personal records with the Shoeboxed app. This online tool is a great application for anyone who owns a phone with camera and email capability. Keep in mind, Shoeboxed also integrates with popular accounts like Google and Evernote, so you can export data into them. Capacity wise, you can send five documents per month to your Shoeboxed account free of charge. If you need more document management volume, you can choose from a wide-selection of flexible pay-per-month plans.

Use Online Bill Payment Services

If you’re still receiving your banking statements via Canada Post, forgo paper statements by switching over to easy-access online bill payment services. Most big banks offer online bill-paying services and your online account will track your yearly statements and get your bills paid on time. If you decide to set up automatic payments with your bank for bills like electricity, hydro and credit cards, some banks offer totally free online bill paying, while others will ask for a small free, depending on the bank accounts you have with them.

Scan and Save to a Computer

Scraping paper documents and archiving them digitally might leave you wondering how valid your records will be legally. However, rest assured, any old documents you have for tax purposes and mortgages are accepted by the Canadian government. If you own or have access to a scanner, you can preserve all kinds of paper documents like letters, photos and financial documents by simply scanning and saving them directly to your computer, laptop or USB stick.

Create PDFs

Making PDFs is another simple way to preserve old paper documents. Whether pre-existing Word docs or converting webpage information, use online tools like PrimoPDF to create documents you can open with ease and store directly on your computer.

If you prefer smart phone apps that scan and create PDFs of your MS Office documents, try Able2Extract PDF Converter. A free cross-platform app that also converts PDF documents to PowerPoint, Word and Excel in just few taps.

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