Technology and paper

I am surrounded by technology.  My iPhone is more powerful than my first computer (and probably the next couple after that!), and the silent efficiency of broadband makes the whistles and boings of modems seem to belong to a bygone age.  And yet, I am still hanging onto mountains of paper in much the same way as I did before.

Why am I doing this? The credit card statements are all available online, as are my utility bills, tv licence and insurance certificates.  I have written four cheques in three years and yet I have diligently kept cheque book stubs from yesteryear.  It’s not that I don’t trust technology, but perhaps it is the nagging paranoia that a single failure could wipe out my entire filing system (even though I have a very effective backup regime).

Technology and trust must hold the key to the future, so I’m going to try an experiment for the next two weeks and see what happens:

  • I will shred all credit card and utility bills once they have been paid – copies exist online if I should need them.
  • if I receive something which I will need to keep or later reference then I will scan it and file it electronically, probably in the cloud where it will be backed up for me – and available on my laptop, my phone, or pretty much anywhere.  Once scanned I will shred the original.
  • I will keep any official documents which I will need to use later – driving licence, vehicle registration and so forth.

I’m sure other people do this all the time.  Will it – and I – be successful?