Paperless?

Sometimes writing articles for my website can get a little overwhelming. Finding financial topics that I think are interesting to the general public and not just to finances nerds is hard. Writing about them in a fun and upbeat way can get even harder. Especially when we have scary jobs reports coming out and unemployment numbers that won’t quit, European countries on the brink of collapse and a national debt that feels like a countdown clock to doom only it’s counting up.

So today I want to talk about something not really financially related, but still related to getting your life together so your finances can follow in line: Going Paperless.

Getting paperless statements is the smartest thing you can do to save yourself a ton of hassle. They deliver right into your email Inbox and you can keep them until you deal with them and then delete them. There is always a record of the statements and going paperless to pay your bills saves you time, money (though trips to the post office and ordering checks), and allows you to control when you’re going to pay a bill since you can choose when the money is going to clear your account.

I love paying bills online. I subscribe to the system where I make my income smooth out by transferring a set amount to a secondary checking account automatically every week. This allows me a decent amount to live on, but also keeps me from spending like crazy. Since I know I get that amount every Thursday, I can spread my bills out so I don’t take a huge hit to my cash flow in one week.

Now the paperless system I’m considering switching to is my planner. Those of you who have known me for a while know how much I love my planner. It’s huge and pink with my name on it and is my whole life in a single binder. However, as part of my 26 by 27 effort (see #2), I am trying to find a system to track my life without feeling overwhelmed. And the truth is that my planner overwhelms me. There are parts of it that I never use, parts that I want to be more and the whole thing just takes up so much damn space.

What I love about it is that I have spaces at the bottom of my day for filling in my meals for the day, my workout, due dates for Artistic Financial stuff and Andy’s schedule. It’s a planner by MomAgenda and it’s amazing. But in an effort to be everything for someone, I feel like it creates a system where one has to flip back and forth between sections to find everything they need. And I just want one place where all the information is, no more weird post-it systems, no more To-Do lists on pages I never see and therefore no more dropped balls because there are too many in the air.

In the beginning of October I’m eligible for a phone upgrade an no doubt about it I am getting and iPhone. I’ve been told the systems on the iPhone are perfect for tracking multiple To-Do lists, calendars and streamlining all your information.

But as a girl who has used a paper planner ever since I could start using planners, I have a deep-seated fear of change in this area. I tried going paperless at the start of my Rep internship 4 years ago and have never missed so many deadlines, meetings and projects. I felt like I was constantly playing catch up and eventually just went back to my paper system.

But I desperately need a way to track my calendar, tasks and project ideas that doesn’t feel like a project unto itself.

So now here I am and I want your voice! Do you use a planner? Are you paperless? Are you some combination of the two? Please help me figure out a new system!

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