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A window into the Digital Life of Bryan Vyhmeister

Two Goals for 2012 and Paperless All The Way

This is the time of year for New Year’s resolutions. Most people make some and most people break those resolutions within a few weeks. Some say that you should not tell anyone your New Year’s resolutions because when you break them you will not be embarrassed. Well, I suppose it depends what your New Year’s resolutions are. I have two major resolutions for the year 2012.

1. Simplify

This one seemingly simple goal encompasses quite a few different aspects. For one, I need to go through every single box in the garage. I refuse to have any box that I have not specifically packed up with only what I want to keep. This means no “junk” boxes. As most any technology professional does, I have lots of miscellaneous parts and cables. I will be getting rid of whatever is not really useful to me. No old computer parts that I might use some time down the road unless I have a specific and sensible plan for them.

Another part of the simplification process is going completely paperless. I have already started this process for 2011 and will be continuing it for 2012. Although some good dedicated software is available, I have so far been using my own organization system that I am still refining but with the Fujitsu ScanSnap software. The scanner I use is the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M

The S1500M is very flexible and allows you to scan a variety of paper sizes and a decent stack of papers into one PDF file. In fact, I like the S1500M so much, I am planning to purchase a smaller, portable ScanSnap. If you want to go paperless, I would strongly recommend you first purchase a larger, higher capacity scanner such as the S1500M. A smaller, more compact unit is harder to use and will likely make your paperless quest less likely to be completed.

The portable scanner I am planning to purchase is the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100. It is part of a two part portable system I am setting up with both the S1100 and a portable printer. More on that soon.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100

2. Get Out of Debt

I am one of the fortunate Americans to not have very much debt. It consists of a car loan and a few thousand dollars of miscellaneous other bills. While the exact dollar value of the debt is not all that substantial, I am firmly committed to having no debt. That means zero.

I am not opposed to having one or two credit cards for emergencies and travel. There are certain things, such as car rental, that are much more difficult and expensive with only a debit card. However, credit cards are not for discretionary spending. The bottom line is, if you do not have the money, do not buy it.

Unfortunately, this is one of those goals that most likely will not be fully completed in 2012. The car loan still has several more years and was a very expensive car, a Dodge Sprinter van, and so will take a little longer to pay off. Although, if at all possible, I will be paying all if not most of it off this year.

Once the car loan and the other debts are payed off, my wife and I will be completely debt free. Once we reach that point, we will never again go into debt. Once expenses from debt are eliminated, your expenses drop and it is easier to pay your expenses with a smaller income. The side benefit is less stress which also often means greater productivity. It would be very nice to work without thinking about paying any bills other than my immediate monthly expenses.

3. Other Goals

I have other goals, as most of you do, but the rest of my goals are not public. As I complete the other goals, I may write about them. Time will tell.