April 10th, 2009 Jamie
There’s just no getting around it, dorm rooms (and new apartments) are tight quarters. Your space is precious, so why clutter it up with paperwork? It’s time to “go paperless.”
There are many, many perks of going paperless, the most important of which are (1) it eliminates clutter, (2) it is a great way to get (or stay) organized, and (3) it’s good for the environment. And it’s also surprisingly easy. Here are 5 quick and easy ways you can go paperless, student-style.
1. Get Online Billing & Statements. Most companies who regularly bill you or send statements offer you the option of either getting them in your inbox or viewing them online. If you can, sign up for online billing/statements for your:
- Utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.),
- Cell phone,
- Credit card(s),
- Car payments, and
- Student loans
Stay organized by keeping digital copies in PDF on your computer. (Be sure to back them up!)
2. Bring Your Laptop to Class. I’ve debated the merits and disadvantages of bringing a laptop to class before, and honestly I still believe that taking notes by hand is a better way to drive the message of a lecture home. However, if you’ve got the conviction to both avoid Twitter in class AND go green, taking notes on your computer might well be a good option for you. Many professors offer their lecture note outlines for download, so you may even be able to simply add your notes to their outline.
3. Pay Your Bills Online. There are two ways to go about this–you can either sign up for bill-pay with your bank or credit card (and they send out the payment) or sign up with each of your billers and have them auto-debit from your bank account or credit card each month. Done right, this can save you paper (no check writing!) and money (no late fees or stamps!). Just make sure you always have enough in your account to cover your bills–you don’t want an overdraft fee!
4. Do Your Homework Online. Sites like Google Docs and Zoho allow you to write documents and spreadsheets, and then share them for editing online (so no more red marks all over your papers when your friends edit them!). They also let you access these docs from any computer with internet. If you haven’t already made the switch, I’d recommend it!
5. Do Your Taxes Online. I hope that you are one of the lucky ones whose parents do taxes for them, but if you’re not, you should consider doing your taxes online. There are several services to choose from (I like TurboTax) and they walk you through the forms step-by-step. You can also choose to have your refunds direct-deposited into your bank account–again, no check so no paper to worry about, and you tend to get your refund faster this way!
Entry Filed under: computers & tech