I’m (almost) Paperless: How You Can do it Too

As a person that misplaces A LOT of things, going paperless served plenty of benefits for me.  I now have everything put in one place, which is all backed up on the cloud for extra safety.  Plus, it’s good for the environment! It’s almost the end of 2019, and I have officially adapted to all technology and have no interest of going back paper. If you’re interested, this is how I am (almost) paperless in college and how you can do it too:

Technology

- iPad pro (12.9)

iPad 

Microsoft Surface Pro

I can undoubtedly say that a tablet is the most valuable piece of technology for people wanting to go paperless, but keep in mind that they are not necessarily a replacement for a laptop. If you want to get one one I would recommend one of the iPad models or the surface pro. I personally have the 12.9 inch 2018 iPad Pro, which is expensive, but extremely capable. If you get it around this time of year, there are plenty of sales going on on Amazon and Best Buy. The iPad is the cheapest option and would suffice for most college students unless you are heavily invested in graphic design or digital art ( then I would definitely save for an iPad pro). The Surface Pro is also a good option for those who prefer the windows ecosystem, but I think that iOS has a wider variety of applications for going paperless. 

Note taking 

Image courtesy of the author 

- GoodNotes $7.99

- Notability 8.99

- Matte screen protector

Bear

 

The most popular apps for note taking are Goodnotes and Notability. I started with Notability and stuck with it because I‘ve had no problems. I pretty much write like I would on paper but with some added benefits. If the slip of the glass bothers you, you can always get some super cheap matte screen protectors that imitate the physical feeling of writing on paper. I don’t use them because for me it distorts the screen too much for enjoyability. When writing on the iPad, I can move things around, use a plethora of different colors, and easily attach images to my notes. I can also view two notes at the same time using the multitasking view in case I need to reference one page of notes while writing another. And it’s all in one place for easy access, so I never forget anything. When I want to type notes, I use the app Bear. It is seamless, and simple to use. The notes are organized in tags, which can in turn be hierarchized based on priority. 

Documents/ Texts

Scanner Pro

PDF Pro 3

If I receive a physical paper that I want to edit on paper, I scan it using scanner pro. After that, I can edit it on the iPad and send it to whoever I need to. One of the things I hate the most is lugging around extremely heavy textbooks, that are just way too expensive anyways. So of course, ebooks are a life saver, especially on the iPad. I use PDF Pro to read all my pdf textbooks. There is a free version and a paid version, but the free version fulfills all of my needs. I like to be mindful when I’m reading from academic sources, so I summarize what I read after every few paragraphs. I highlight and annotate directly on the ebook, and those notes are saved forever unless I delete them. One of my favorite features is the multitasking ability on the iPad Pro, with the size I have I can easily have my textbook and notes open at the same time. 

 

Planning

Moleskine Timepage

image courtesy of the author 

While I love the aesthetic of physical planners , I have typically abandoned them a quarter through the year for whatever reason. So now, I’ve resorted to planning events digitally, which works a lot better for my workflow. The iOS calendar app works perfectly fine and allows you to have multiple calendars that are color coded. It is also really easy to schedule recurring events, while it’s a hassle to do that on a physical planner. A more visually appealing option is Moleskine’s Timepage, which has a few added features such as adding contacts to your events, and easily adding locations. It will also tell you the weather for the day so you can dress accordingly. The app is very sleek and have a bunch of color options, so your calendar looks exactly the way you want it to. After using it, I can say that the only con is the $12.99/year subscription. For maximum efficiency, I incorporate my calendar with a to do list to make sure I get the little things done.

 

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Images: 1,2,4