A few interviews later I was offered the position and my first responsibility was to digitize all the literacy and math materials that coaches would need as part of an initiative to equip NYC Coaches with 21st Century Toolkits comprised of fully loaded Tablet laptops. I worked with all our partner organizations and was able to get a treasure trove of textbooks, resource materials, and even that big red binder in digital format. At the same time I was committed to going completely digital. It was surprisingly easy and was ultimately an absolute blessing because once I made the decision to do this I never had to worry about printing or locating a file again and I had all my work with me wherever I was.
Here are my ten steps to a successful paperless diet:
1) I converted everything I was currently working on to my laptop computer so that I had everything I needed at my fingertips at all times. As a result I would never need to print anything because I had everything with me on my laptop.
2) I didn't worry about converting and transferring everything over. I just did it per the project I was working on making this a very manageable task.
3) I committed to traveling with my 3 lb laptop which is surprisingly light when you're not carrying a lot of books, notebooks, and binders.
4) Prior to meetings I emailed the organizer with a request to receive digital copies of the materials in advance of (rather than following) the meetings.
5) I started ordering books digitally and read them using eReader allowing me to read books directly from my laptop. This was great because I could search, highlight, play the audio if I was driving or unable to read at the time, and more.
6) I joined Audible and ordered audio books. I found audio books are better for fiction rather than nonfiction.
7) I carried a usb drive with me so I could easily and instantly take digital files from others when necessary.
8) I backed up weekly
9) I started using wikis and Google Docs for my materials rather than my hard drive to make everything easy to share and collaborate on and to free up my hard drive.
10) Lastly I got a Verizon wireless card for my laptop enabling me to have internet access anywhere I had cell service. I highly recommend this purchase and believe that is the wave of the future. While this may seem a bit expensive (about $50 a month) I no longer have to pay wireless fees anywhere and there is never a hassle getting on the internet.
Within a month I was able to shed the 20 pounds of paper and could finally fit into a sleek shoulder bag. After a life-time of paper training, I have successfully been able to keep the paper off for three years now. I vow never to be bulky again.
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