Ways to reduce paper reliance through technology
I read a blog post about identifying bad processes which suggested that:
...is your purse or wallet overflowing with receipts? Receipt clutter is almost always caused by either not having a process for handling receipts or having a process you don't use because the method is inconvenient, poorly designed, or not the best process for your needs...
It got me thinking about why we have so many receipts cluttering up our wallets and purses. Sure, there are some receipts that you simply must keep for proof of purchase or warranty purposes. But then there are those redundant receipts that vendors seem to give you (often without asking if you actually want a receipt to start with).
For example, I always selected "printed receipt" to see my bank balance from an ATM. But as soon as I viewed the balance, I shoved it through the choked slot in the metal bin. From the state of the overstuffed receipts bin, I’d hazard a guess that most of us do the same. After seeing the mess of receipts poking out of the bin, I made a conscious decision to select balance displayed on screen instead—one less thing to put in the wallet.
Another thing that usually hangs around in my wallet is the humble shopping list. Not any more. Those of us with smartphones have no excuse for using paper lists anymore.
Google Keep now features a Share List option to collaborate on lists with other people: lists like your Shopping List. You can even run separate lists for different supermarkets or chain stores if you know an item can only be purchased from one shop. And when you pass the shop, you can choose whether Google Keep notifies you with a geofence notification. Mark off the items as you take them off the shelf, and you won’t have to carry a pen with you either.
How about when you need to collect an item that requires a reference number? Put it in your phone as a Google Keep item or just in the notepad on your device. There is really no need to use a sticky note that will only become wedged in your wallet or purse and stick to stuff.
A quick Twitter poll uncovered several other excellent solutions to reduce your wallet bloat:
- Buying lunch with EFTPOS
You aren’t going to return your sandwich, so you don’t need a receipt.
- Buying fuel from the petrol station
The fuel is in your car, so you can’t return it.
- Printing out online movie tickets
Just make a calendar appointment in your phone for the movie time and date, and put the reference number in the appointment as well.
- Receipts for taxation purposes
Many shops will send you a digital receipt instead of printing one at the checkout. You can save that right into a cloud storage folder for your tax affairs and either submit them electronically or print them out only if you need them.
- Receipts for warranty purposes
Scan them and digitally file them in DropBox, Copy, or Google Drive. I guarantee they will be easier to find digitally than rifling through a paper-based system. And they won’t fade!
What other ways have you found to reduce your wallet bloat?