Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am declaring WAR on Paper: More on the Paperless Office

I just read that the average lawyer uses between 20,000 and 100,000 sheets of paper every year. That means 5 tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. For those lawyers who use up to 100,000 sheets, that is over a half of a ton of paper. That is over 1000 pounds of paper Yes....1000 pounds. HOLY CRAP that is a lot of paper.

I know that my average is much much less than that, probably closer to 5000 (about 10 reams of paper a year). But think about what that means. So I am only off putting a ton of CO2. That doesn't make me feel much better. I am still on my quest to rid my house and home office of excess paper. My schedule has been delayed slightly as I have been on the road more than I anticipated this month, but all told I have probably scanned in over 2000 sheets of paper and recyled them. I still have 6 or 7 notebooks filled with CLE (Continuing Education) materials that I need to review and either toss or scan as well as 15 years of taxes/receipts that need to be pruned back to the last 5 years only. My goal is to toss anything older than 7 years and scan anything older than 5.

Why am I doing this? Well, partially to get rid of the clutter in my office, partially because there is just too much paper, and partially because I just need to get things back in order in my quest to be more focused. I think my goal for February may be to create a "life hack" or other type of response to my need to touch things more than once. Work towards the goal of pick it up and sort it immediately. We will see, I still have a couple more days to figure that out!

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