Paperless in 2010


It's 2010, it's the future. We don't have flying cars or jet packs, it turns out video phones aren't as cool as we thought they'd be. So what can I do to make my present into the future I thought it would be. I've decided to focus on "Jetson-ifying" my life. First up, going paperless in 2010.

Its time for a few confessions about some hard facts.
One, I don't have a filing system in the real world. Two, I have a predilection towards being a pack rat. These two facts have combined to create a mountian of paper that I will deal with... someday.

I mean we're talking about garbage bags and boxes and totes filled with every piece of paper that seemed even remotely important, and a bunch that just got swept up in one of a thousand office "cleanings".

I've been harboring a fantasy that one day, I'd be able to lay it all out and get it all sorted, but with the schedule I keep and the job I have, weeks of concentrated time in a single location just ain't gonna happen. I need to be able to take the paper with me, so I can organize it on the road.

I had the idea while shooting newspaper clippings for my documentary, The Truth About Elvis that using my still camera as a high speed scanner might be a quick way to deal with my mountian of paper. If I could take pictures of the paper, I could sort it electronically anywhere, anytime. I have a lot of international travel planned this year, so perhaps I can file receipts at 30,000 feet over the pacific ocean.

To make this work, I'm going to need a system, I must address:
Shooting and cropping the documents

  • Storing the scans
  • OCR
  • Organization
  • Long term system

As I tackle the problem in the coming weeks and months, I'll be cronicalling my experiences along the way.