Paper eats up a lot of space, is hard to keep track of, and is a hassle to carry. Needless to say, if you lose paper, with it you lose all the information it contains. For students, paper creates the artificial need of holding paper and scribbling with multicolor pens on it, in order to decode the information and study. This often stops students from studying on-the-go because they do not have the ‘materials’ for it.
It is harder to organise your life with paper; you need multiple thick note books (one for schedules, one for lectures, one for work). You can easily forget to carry them as well.
Given that a prerequisite for efficiency is that one stays minimalist, the nature of paper happens to go against it.
What is the alternative?
Go full digital and don’t look back.
How does that fix the issues?
The issue of space is practically negated. Keeping track of everything is easier due to reminder apps and due date functions available on your laptop or smartphone. Due to technological progression, all devices are super-light and portable as well. As a student, you don’t need to carry papers you always forget to bring in class, and can develop the habit of studying purely based on content.
To organise, applications are better because of their thoughtful setup and editing options. Here are two applications to get you started:
Trello: Use this to divide and organise your work and personal life. You can create boards for each sector (Board 1- Home Chores, Board 2- Studies, etc.) and inside each board you can add cards (Board 1 - Card 1- Get the electrician to fix the light bulb). You can share boards and cards with people, in case you need to stay in sync with your team or spouse. In each card, you can add due dates, reminders, comments and checklists. Download the app with your phone and sync it with your laptop.
Evernote: You can create notebooks here. You can use it to maintain a dairy for yourself. It can also be used for official work as it has most of the essential functions that MS word has, along with additional functions such as voice recording, file insertion and group sharing. Use their template function as a setup before you start writing. Sync both your phone and laptop under one account so that you can access any important document wherever you are.
It is worth noting that the shift to a paperless life won’t happen over-night. Do explore and fool around with different applications and see what works best for you. A minimalist life is an efficient life and going paperless is a major step towards it.
Sreyan Kanungo is a certified Fatman who loves the business world. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org