Every tech device will become obsolete at some point. Human beings are compelled to create new things, so it’s only a matter of time before your favorite tech tool fades out of existence. Some tech devices are rapidly replaced with upgraded versions boasting new features with each new release.
We’ve come to depend on many of these tools just to make it through the day. For example, smartphones are integrated into the fabric of our being, but other tools – like the filing cabinet – should probably disappear.
Paper is the enemy, and filing cabinets enable its use
Filing cabinets do one thing well – hold massive amounts of paper. They aren’t built for organizing that paper, unless you enjoy the tedious work of separating everything into a multitude of folders, hoping you can see all the tabs when you open the drawer.
Truth be told, filing cabinets have never been an organizational tool. They’ve always been a stash-it-and-forget-it tool for keeping your workspace free of clutter. It works for a while, but when you need to find a specific document, you’ll need a bit of time.
Of all the things people shove into their filing cabinets, invoices are high on that list. The problem with filing invoices is that unless you have a system in place to pay them on time, filing them will make you forget about them. Out of sight, out of mind. At least until you find yourself emailing a frantic apology to someone you should have paid last week.
Owning a filing cabinet enables the excessive use of paper. As long as you’ve got a filing cabinet, you’ve got somewhere to stash that paper. You have no reason to go paperless by switching to digital accounting tools and software.
Eliminating paper obsession eliminates the filing cabinet
Invoices, along with any other business documents, can be created, signed, and exchanged online – no paper required. Not even a stamp. You can store copies of old invoices on your hard drive, or in your cloud storage account. There are even devices that scan receipts and save them digitally on your computer.
It’s a tough transition for some who are hanging onto manual ways of conducting business, but our entire lives have moved into the realm of computers, and it’s time for everyone to catch up.
We live in a complex digital world where people’s lives are on their phones. We’re living in a hybrid world of technology with one foot on earth and one foot in the cloud. Unless you’re hanging onto the 1980s, there’s no reason to use so much paper.
Eliminating the filing cabinet saves you money
If you stopped relying on paper for most of your business documents, your filing cabinet would become an empty shell. Good. That means it will be easier to move when you donate it to charity.
When the filing cabinet goes, so do other outdated, inconvenient tools like those hanging folders with sharp edges that fall to the bottom when you overload them. You know, the ones that make that scraping sound like nails on a chalkboard when you have to push them around.
If you’re not stashing away paper, you’ll use less binder paper, fewer yellow tablets, and you won’t have to spend $30 on 3-ring binders that should only cost ten bucks. Best of all, you won’t have to clean your filing cabinet – the task most people put off for years (or never do).
Modern office culture is on its way out. Familiar things like spending an hour commuting to work and stuffy cubicles are being replaced by telecommuting and open spaces. It was only a matter of time before the filing cabinet would meet its doom.
Paper isn’t done – it’s just playing second fiddle
Statistics show paper won’t become obsolete anytime soon. Apparently, the demand for paper has actually been rising. Even so, technology has been incrementally killing the paper industry’s hold over our working lives.
For those of us moving to an all-digital world, paper is no longer taking over weekends we’d rather spend with friends and family. We’re freeing ourselves from the clunky filing cabinets that make us dread spring cleaning and tax time. We’re happy to let technology take over some areas of our lives, especially if it means less tedium. If our paperless ventures end up saving the planet in the process, that’s just icing on the cake.