I hate paper clutter. I tend to be a sentimental pack rat when it comes to personal documents – letters, notes, journals and such – I blame my historical research background for that. But when it comes to bank statements, insurance documents and all that rig-a-ma-rol, I hate it. A few years ago, I set out to scan and save all my boring ol’ documents digitally (at least the ones that you don’t have to have the original on…I’m thinking the government might frown when I hand over a digital car title).
Working in an office, I am surrounded by paper. We’ve killed a forest in order to use all the paper that’s around here. It’s in file cabinets, in boxes, in drawers, heavens, a whole room is dedicated to just the old files alone! Within the past few months, our office has declared war on paper.
Several co-workers and our boss have been going through box after box of outdated files and filling the shred bins with them. And I? Well, I’ve been working with one of the guys to digitalize most of his client files. A mountanous paper task, to be sure.
But as I scan yet another stack of papers several inches thick into the computer, I think back twelve years. (Sigh. Yes, it’s been TWELVE years since my first job in an office.) At that time, I was working in a bank. When all the daily work was done, they put me on a project…to digitalize their client files. (My love of digital files must have started there.)
This was back in 2002. And while technology was well on its way, it was still SLOW. I would place one piece of paper at a time on one of those flat screen scanners. It would warm up and slowly whir back and forth over the screen. Then the picture would load bit by bit onto the computer screen, and I would give it a title one.piece.at.a.time. It was painful. Did I mention it was a SLOW process? It was SLOOOOWWWW. Have you heard the terms watching paint dry? Watching the grass grow?
So, as I scan a one inch thick stack of paper in less time that it used to take to scan one sheet of paper, I think, “My, how GOOD modern technology is!”
And that is my blessing for today.