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The Glamping Entrepreneur – Entry 2

How to Create a More Remote Business - Step 1: Go Electronic with Paper

I’m glad to report that the personal paring down of my stuff is progressing. I’ve been able to donate more unworn clothes from my closet using the reviewing process I laid out in my last blog. I am finding more and more recipes to try for my pressure cooker and air fryer. And I’m still discovering apps and tools to monitor useful information for my new life on the road.

However, my recent task on my to-do list is to move my business to a completely remote business. Albeit I’ve been running a remote business since 1992, I’m still finding old habits that don’t help going remote. My largest habit, believe it or not, is my love of paper. Having done my own business bookkeeping for years, I’ve learned that paper can help you cover yourself, especially in a tax review. Albeit accountability is always a top priority, it is crucial that I learn new methods and processes to handle the “paper” electronically. It is also important to me that whatever filing system I create meet my three highest critical criteria of security, accessibility, and integration with other applications already set in my business.

Believing in taking small steps that lead to larger transitions, I am on a search to transform how I save receipts. My old system is to ALWAYS get a receipt and to paper file it in my file drawer by month for each tax year. This process made it extremely easy to find what I needed come tax time in preparing my return. So by making those yearly/monthly files electronic in a secure place in the cloud (Google Drive and OneDrive are my 2 favorites) and requesting electronic receipts wherever possible allows me to easily move them to the proper folders in the moment on my phone. There are many phone apps that can take scans or pictures of a paper receipt, make notes of the transaction then move it to the proper file. Many of these apps also give you the extra benefit of tracking mileage for business trips and placing that information or reports in monthly files.

I have also taken on the task of going to electronic statements wherever possible. Using email rules, I’ve been able to compile these statements into folders in my email Inbox, and twice a month I move those statements to my clouded monthly folders. If I have to receive a paper statement in the mail (rare, but it still happens) I am using a scanning app on my phone to scan the statement and upload it to the appropriate monthly folder.

The next task on the “No More Paper” list is to explore virtual mailboxes. Virtual mailboxes are becoming more and more popular. All physical mail goes to a service where it is scanned and emailed to you to review to keep or toss. The only hiccup I’ve currently encountered is that most traditional banks still require a home physical address to be on a checking account. They don’t accept virtual mailbox addresses. So because of the large number of scams that banks attempt to protect their customers from mailing notifications by mail is the preferred method by banks. A work in progress and I’ll write more about this in future blogs.

What I am discovering by going electronic is that my life is truly more organized and in real-time. I’m not spending time sorting receipts on the weekend just to clear space on my desk. And as I continue this transformation process to change my old paper habit there is more and more empty drawer space. My goal is to get rid of my filing cabinet! Getting close!

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