The benefits of going paperless, in your genealogy, are endless. In this post I point out major reasons to do so and in future posts of this series “Going Digital With Genealogy” I will show you the tools that I use and that you can use too.
The main and major reason to go paperless is to save money and save trees. Look at your surrounding area and it is very likely that you have piles of papers that you may have copied or printed with the hopes of getting back to them at a latter time. They clutter your desk and your work space. Now calculate how much you spent in copies, paper, and ink. The sum goes up very quickly, specially when ink cartridges only print from 150 to 250 pages. That is money that you can be using either to buy software to manage your family tree, join a genealogy society, or even to pay for a DNA kit. The bottom line printing to paper is wasteful and guess what? You are wasting money, since most of the time you will never pick those papers up again.
Yes do print your family tree and have a working binder for field research but please don’t print every website or copy every book page where information about your ancestors appear. There are many ways to save that information without printing.
Instead of printing to physical paper you can always print to PDF and save the information. These electronic files are much easier to organize and do not require a file cabinet nor binders. Just follow the instructions on my previous post How to Organize Your Genealogical Digital Files.
Easy to Share and Trade Information
Once you go fully digital it will be very easy to share your information with any other distant relative or researcher. You can very easily attach your documents as email and or upload them to a file sharing site to easily share it with everyone.
You can also upload them to face book groups to collaborate with distant primos and primas.
Access Your Information From Anywhere
Another great benefit that you have is that you can have access to your files from anywhere in the world. You can always use a cloud service and or create your own file hosting server like the one I have. Don’t worry I will talk about all this in the upcoming posts and even show you how to set up your own server.
With my file server i can access my data form anywhere with any phone, computer, or tablet.
Once yous tart printing to digital format instead of to paper you will save a ton of time. Imagine this you no longer have to go trough piles of papers to find what yo need since they will always be available on you computer, phone, or tablet.
Since I also scan my books, I no longer have to get them from my personal library when I need them, I just simply click on it on my computer and press ctrl+f and can search for any keyword I choose within it’s pages.
Easy to Carry and Save
I have thousands of documents and even hundreds of books in a small card the size of a half inch. It is amazing that I can carry my genealogy data anywhere if I so desire. Great for when collaborating with other researchers at the local library. What this means is that you can easily save a copy and have your data protected.
These are the main reasons that I no longer print to paper. In my next post “Never Print to Paper Again With PDF Printers” I will show you how to never print to paper again and still save that precious information about your ancestors.