OnEarth about a Paperless Life

Alan Burdick has written an amusing essay about the transition to a truly paperless life (and his use for DEVONthink Pro Office):

I’ve gone paperless. First I bought that expensive, superfast scanner that all the productivity blogs are raving about; you can feed documents into it by the fistful. Then I bought that expensive software program that converts all those scanned documents into PDF files, runs some optical character-recognition magic on them, and digitally archives every word in a massively searchable, artificially intelligent database. How cool is that?

BTW: Personally, I love paper and would never go fully digital. But I have it only for the right things: books, my Moleskin, scribbles, paintings — not for all those invoices, business letters, leaflets, and brochures that would clutter my office or my home.

3 Responses to “OnEarth about a Paperless Life”

  1. Ivan says:

    What about legal requirements? When you need a document for a serious issue is a pdf copy good enough? Does one still need to keep the paper copy?

  2. Eric says:

    @Ivan: The legal requirements are different in every country (and maybe even in every state in the US or the EU). Here in Germany we need to keep the paper copy of everything that goes to the tax authorities and I guess it’s the same in the US with the IRS. Also you may want to keep papers for important invoices.

  3. Karen says:

    The IRS will accept electronic copies. http://ftp.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb97-13.pdf Rev. Proc. 97–22, on Page 9 gives details.

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