A great way to minimize what’s taking up space in your life is to digitize it.
I was able to let go of so many books because I have an e-reader that allows me to house over 600 books in the space of a small paperback. I have an iPhone with applications for music, clock, calendar, camera, photos, books, audiobooks, and store convenience cards, among others. iTunes means I don’t have to house a CD rack full of music anymore. Cardstar means I can upload the barcodes from my loyalty cards to scan them at stores without having to carry them around. Kindle and Audible mean I can listen to or read a book without having to carry it around or lose my place.
Technology is a wonderful thing for a minimalist.
One of the most impressive forces behind digitizing is Google. First of all, if you haven’t browsed the web on Google Chrome, give it a try. It’s so clean and tidy and not full of superfluous junk. The URL bar is the Google search bar – it does both things in the same space. There’s a back, forward, reload, and favorite button for easy browsing. Clean and simple, I love it. But that is just the tip of the Google iceberg.
Did you know that Google can replace…
External drives and USB storage?
Google Docs is a beautiful thing! It allows you to store documents on Google Drive and access them from any computer. You can also share them for viewing or editing with other people. Text documents, spreadsheets, presentations – these and more options are available in Google Docs for your use.
Side note: Another great application for file storage between devices is Dropbox. I seriously under-utilize mine but I will be changing that soon!
You can send and receive faxes – for free – with an app called HelloFax. HelloFax is an app available for download with Google Drive, which stores the faxes you send and receive and allows you to access them from anywhere you can get online.
Okay, not entirely, but DocuSign, another Google Drive app, allows you to send documents and forms through your browser to be completed, signed, and sent back to you – all online. No printing, scanning, mailing, faxing, or scrambling to find a pen with ink.
Google even offers an app for music lovers – DriveTunes. You can listen to .mp3 and .mp4 files, search for a specific song, or shuffle through them all. The music is stored on Google Drive. Currently the app does not have a playlist feature.
These apps and more are available through the Google Chrome Web Store. Check them out and see what you can digitize.