Going Paperless

One of my perennial new year’s resolutions is to be kinder to the environment. Often, choosing sustainability is no more burdensome. I can put my newspaper in the recycling box just as easily as putting it in the trash. Shutting off my computer overnight costs me little in time to reboot it. But for as much as I try to be green, I still haven’t found a way to get rid of paper entirely.

Kerim Friedman, an academic in Taiwan, blogged about his attempt to go paperless this year. He uses a scanner to turn documents digital and then an iPad to read and annotate them. Still, there always seems to be bits of paper floating around: business cards, boarding passes, passing thoughts jotted on a Post-it.

For those, Friedman recommends Evernote. This free software can store photos, sound recordings, text, and web pages in an easy to search format. All this syncs between your computer and mobile device and is safely stored in the cloud. I’m a little skeptical of setting up yet another account with another password and migrating my notes from Word documents to Evernote, but I’m willing to give it a try.

Of course, what these advances save on paper they probably expend on energy for computer servers, so fulfilling my resolution might have to wait until next year.


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