Do you have a file cabinet? What’s in it? How about a file drawer in your desk? Are you hoarding papers dating back to the Clinton administration? Nixon? Truman?
Use Google Docs to make an online file cabinet, and use that space for something else. I know this may be a scary idea, but trust me, it is going to be fine. Here’s what you do:
1. Get a TA, student helper, or your own loving child to assist you, and access a good scanner. If, like here at my school, your photocopier is also a scanner, this is perfect.
2. Take your time and begin the process of scanning your documents. If there is a whole folder full of, say, vocabulary worksheets, you can set them to scan all, and make that one .pdf. most copy machines handle scans just like copies, only it gets emailed to you, so you can put a whole stack of one kind of thing, and that will become one batch in a scan.
3. It doesn’t all have to be done in one day, but once you have a bunch of them done, you upload them to Google Docs. The email or file transfer from the scanner has a .pdf of your file. Go to Google Docs, and hit upload. You can upload all of your scanned files at one time. Be sure NOT to choose to convert these, because most of them would not work well for this. If you have something that is just a typed document, you may be able to try it, but that is not really what we are doing here.
4. Open your new Google Docs, and rename then with what they are. Now when you need a copy of something, just open the file from Google Docs, anywhere in the world (and from your phone.), and print. If you can, send the file directly to your copy machine and skip one more step.
5. Finally, you can share any of these with colleagues, students, or parents by email or Google share at any time.
p.s. you can now recycle your documents, but if that is scary to you, just box them up and put them away for a while. You’ll get there eventually! 🙂
…just an idea.