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Operation “Kill Paper”

I went to bed last night knowing I was getting a cold — again — and today when I woke up, there it was, in my head, telling me I wasn’t going to the museums or the Old Town or the state Historic Park today.

But that’s OK. We all needed a quiet day. E & E parked themselves at the dinette and worked on their various projects (drawing for Emma, and writing a Christmas letter for Eleanor), while I cleaned up old email correspondence using my laptop in bed.

At 1:30 pm we had to move the Airstream to another site. When we arrived at Sweetwater Summit, our site couldn’t be booked for the whole week. We knew that on Monday we’d have to hitch up and go 100 feet to a different one. Not a problem either, since it was time to dump the tanks. By 2:30 we were done and set up in the new site, and the sun was shining, my head was feeling better, and it was time to launch Operation Kill Paper.

We headed out to Circuit City and bought a Canoscan LiDE 60, which is a $80 scanner. It’s slim and lightweight, perfect for RV life. With it, I plan to eliminate all the folders of paper which currently occupy two large file boxes in the back of the truck.

If you only use your Airstream for recreation, you don’t have this problem. But I have to travel with an entire office all the time. It’s amazing that I can operate a magazine with only two boxes of paper (everything else is digital), but I’m not satisfied yet. Those last two boxes have been a persistent thorn in our sides. They don’t fit in the trailer well. They take up too much space in the truck. And 99% of the time, we don’t need them. It’s just stuff we are carting around “just in case”, like receipts, paid invoices, tax records, documentation, etc.

Well, my photos are digital. My writing is digital. My music is digital. And it all fits on a backup hard drive only about 6 inches long by 3.5 inches wide. So why am I carting around two big boxes just for a some paper documents I hardly ever need?

Let Operation “Kill Paper” begin! I just put the paper into the scanner, press one button, and it turns into electrons in about 10 seconds. Then the paper goes in the shredder. Ahh, the joy of eliminating unneeded stuff!

This week, while I am sick with a cold and have not a lot of other work to do, I am going to scan as much old paper into PDF format as I can. Not only will it save a ton of valuable space (and full-timing with a family, every cubic inch counts), but the resulting files are searchable, so I can find documents much more quickly than I could before. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tonight Eleanor is making the pork roast. I can smell it even with a stuffy nose and it smells wonderful. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling better and we’ll go out. But if not, I’m going to send E & E out and I’ll stay here and scan to my heart’s content.

3 Responses to “Operation “Kill Paper””

  1. Lou Woodruff Says:

    You are indeed a brave man!! I always have to have the hard copy…..”just in case”! I am too chicken to get rid of it all!!
    Hope your cold is better!

  2. Michael Young Says:

    Rich,

    Have you installed Tiger with Spotlight yet? It may change the way you organized information because the search capability is astounding. Spotlight indexes PDF files, email, and virtually everything else. Every word no matter where it is located in documents. Way cool, of course.

  3. Rich C Says:

    So, you got the canon scanner. I scoured the web yesterday, and many of the other portables I found did not have support information for OSX. Doesn’t mean they can’t do it, but not having any info is bad. Glad you picked up a scanner!

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