How to Go Paperless With a Family Document Organizer

January 11, 2021

From marriage licenses to medical records, every family has important documents that they need to keep safe. Storing paper copies of these documents at home has been the go-to method for decades.

However, if you’re wondering how to organize important documents at home, you should be aware that there are some downsides to relying on paper documents. Paper documents are:

  • Prone to physical damage
  • Easy to lose
  • Hard to locate in emergencies
  • Difficult to share with loved ones, especially if they live far away

Fortunately, the digital age has paved the way for a new document storage solution and has made it easier to figure out how to go paperless. Family document organizers, like the ones offered by Pillar, give you a secure, cloud-based storage space to keep all of your important documents. They can also help you go paperless, which comes with a host of benefits. 

Why Go Paperless?

Going paperless allows you to transcend the limitations of paper documents. Here are three of the most important benefits of going paperless: 

1. You’ll Have One Trusted Location For All of Your Documents

Every family has a growing list of important documents to keep track of, ranging from tax records to birth certificates. It’s helpful to store all of these documents in one place. This way, you’ll know exactly where they are when you need them. 

Going paperless enables you to store all of your documents in one secure, easily-accessible location, known as “the cloud.” If you’re not familiar with the cloud, it’s a global network of internet servers that offers scalable storage space and has made document management easier than ever. Unlike a computer hard drive that has a set storage capacity, you can increase your cloud storage space as needed. 

Most importantly, you can access the cloud and your document management system from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. For example, if your partner gets sick while on a family vacation, you can pull up their medical records for the doctor to reference. Likewise, if you’re at your attorney’s office, you can have all of your legal paperwork ready to go at the touch of your fingertips. No matter where you are, your documents are just a few clicks away. 

2. You’ll Enjoy the Added Security of the Cloud

When it comes to storing your documents in the cloud, you may have some security concerns. According to a Pillar survey, 11.4% of respondents worried about identity theft. It’s important to realize that every cloud storage service offers a different degree of security.

At Pillar, we’ve made security the foundation of our service. Our cloud storage features the following security safeguards:

  • Bank-level AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption
  • Multiple layers of security
  • Email alerts if unusual activity is detected

When you use Pillar, you can also rest assured that we’ll never sell or share your information with third parties. All of your paperless statements, tax documents, and even credit card information is protected. No one can access your documents besides you—not even Pillar employees or government entities. With Pillar’s top-notch security, you’ll enjoy complete confidence that your documents are safe. 

3. You Can Share Documents With Family Members at Any Time

Privacy is imperative, but sharing access with your loved ones is too. In fact, it’s why we started Pillar. Our founder, Michael Bloch, was inspired to create a family document organizer after his mother was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. During this health crisis, he struggled to find her important documents when it mattered most.

By going paperless with Pillar, you can make sure you never go through the same predicament. You’ll be able to access your family members’ documents with ease, whether you’re at the hospital by their side or halfway across the world. 

If someone else in your family needs access to their documents, you can share it with them in a few simple clicks.

More Benefits of Digitizing Documents

According to our survey, over half of our respondents said that the previous three benefits of going paperless were the most important to them. 

However, these aren’t the only benefits of going paperless. Here are a few more:

4. You Can Access Documents From Your Phone or Computer

These days, we can do just about anything from our devices, including:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Depositing checks
  • Catching up with loved ones across the country
  • Calling ride-share services
  • Streaming the latest TV shows and movies

With everything else making its way into the digital space, there’s no reason why document storage should lag behind. Accessing your important documents should be just as easy as completing an Amazon order or checking your online bank account balance. When you store your documents on Pillar, it is. 

Pillar can bring your document storage to the digital age. In turn, you can enjoy the modern convenience of accessing your documents from anywhere, any time. 

5. You Can Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

Did you know that 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber is used for paper production? 

Anytime you can cut back on your paper consumption, the planet will thank you. Shifting to a cloud-based storage system is a simple way to reduce your impact on the environment.

As an added benefit, you’ll no longer have to worry about how to organize paper clutter since you won’t have any. 

6. You Can Preserve Your Documents in Case of an Emergency

Speaking of the environment, each paper document in your possession is always vulnerable to environmental threats, including:

  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Landslides

In the event of a natural disaster, your physical documents could be destroyed unexpectedly.

By going paperless, you’ll always know that your most precious documents are protected from the elements, preserved in pristine condition in the cloud with Pillar's online document management system.

7. You'll Never Have to Worry About Losing Your Documents 

Twenty-four percent of our survey respondents have requested a copy of an important document at some point in their lives. If you only have physical copies of your documents, you could find yourself in the same position. While you can always request a new birth certificate or Social Security card, the process is often tedious and time-consuming.

By going paperless, losing documents will be one less thing you need to worry about. Each of your documents will be safe and sound in the cloud. 

What Important Documents to Keep in Your Family Document Organizer

Now that you know the value of going paperless, you may be wondering, “what important documents should I keep in a family document organizer?” The types of paperless documents you might want to keep could be endless. 

Here are the three main types of documents you’ll want to upload:

Legal Documents

From your family’s IDs to your parents’ estate plans, legal documents are very important to store securely. Your collection of legal documents may include:

  • Social Security cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Marriage certificates
  • Power of attorneys
  • Advance directives
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Estate plans

Whether you’re caring for an elderly parent or seeking to implement their last wishes, it’s important to have their estate plans easily accessible and securely preserved. 

With Pillar, you can store all of these legal documents and share them with doctors, attorneys, and other family members as needed. 

Medical Documents

In the event of a medical emergency, you always want to be able to access your family’s medical documents, including their:

  • Vaccination records
  • Medication history
  • Doctors’ contact information
  • Health insurance records
  • Advance directives
  • HIPAA releases
  • Healthcare account login information
  • Medical bills

At Pillar, we make it easy for you to upload and categorize all of your family’s health records  after scanning. If you need to pull them up in a medical emergency, they’ll be in the cloud ready to go. In turn, you can ensure that your loved ones get the medical care they need. 

Financial Documents

Whether you run a business, are planning for your retirement, or simply want to keep track of your finances, Pillar can help. Our family document organizer is the perfect place to store your:

  • Tax documents
  • Pay stubs
  • Retirement plans
  • Investment records
  • Bills
  • Loan paperwork
  • Bank information
  • Online banking passwords

When tax season rolls around, you’ll have everything you need all in one place, clearly categorized and labeled. 

If you need to share your financial information with a financial advisor, accountant, or family member, you can do so on Pillar in a few easy steps. 

Who Needs a Family Document Organizer and Why Use One?

Everyone can benefit from having a family document organizer. No matter how old you are, your important documents deserve a safe, secure storage location. Pillar provides just that. It's time to say goodbye to paper records and hello to a paperless workflow.

Here’s how Pillar serves different age groups:

  • If you’ve just had a baby, Pillar can help you keep track of your newborn’s birth certificates, vaccination records, electronic statements, and medical information. As your little one gets older, you can update their Pillar information with ease. With cloud storage, you can also increase your available storage space to meet your growing family’s needs. Best of all, your Pillar account will move seamlessly wherever life takes you and your family. 
  • If you’re entering middle age, a family document organizer can make caretaking for your aging parents much easier. It will allow you to access their medical information in an emergency and to stay up to date on their estate plans. 
  • If you’re in your golden years, participating in a family document organizer can make the caretaking process easier on your loved ones. You can also update your wills and trusts as needed. Best of all, you won’t need to search around your house for important documents anymore because every electronic document will be accounted for.  

Why Some People Are Hesitant to Go Paperless

Despite the many benefits of going paperless, some people haven’t made the shift yet. Here are their reasons, according to our survey:

  • They prefer to keep track of their documents themselves
  • They don’t think it’s necessary to organize their documents
  • They don’t think they need a family document organizer
  • They’re afraid of identity theft

Why You Should Use a Family Document Organizer

If you prefer to keep track of your documents yourself, it’s important to realize that a family document organizer allows you to do just that—just with improved accessibility, security, and shareability. The paperless process is easy.

Others shy away from using a family document organizer due to security concerns. As you now know, Pillar goes above and beyond to keep your information safe. Our cloud storage is arguably much safer than your current storage location. 

Lastly, even if you don’t think organizing your documents is necessary now, you may have second thoughts in the future, especially if you lose a document or face a medical emergency in your family. Getting your documents in order now can save you and your loved ones a lot of stress and hassle in the future. 

How to Store Family History Documents Safely

If you’re wondering how to organize important family documents optimally, using a family document organizer is the clear choice. Despite this, only 6.5% of our survey respondents said that they’ve digitized their documents and store them online. The rest of our survey respondents said that they currently store their documents:

  • In a home safe — 19.2%
  • In a safe deposit box — 18.4%
  • In a folder — 16.2%
  • In several different locations — 8.2%

Thirty percent of these respondents also reported that their documents are not easily accessible. Since over half of the respondents said that they need to look for documents at least once a year, this inaccessibility poses a real problem. 

By upgrading your document storage with a family document organizer, you can prevent these problems for your family once and for all. 

How to Organize Your Family Documents With Pillar

If you’re ready to simplify your document storage, consider joining the 6.5% of people who are already using an online storage solution. 

If you’re wondering how to go paperless with Pillar, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Set up a Pillar Vault for you or a loved one — Setting up a Pillar profile is easy. All you have to do is add your email, and we’ll walk you through the rest of the process step-by-step. 
  1. Add your documents — Once your Pillar profile is set up, you can start uploading your documents. To do so, simply take a photo of them with your smartphone or scan them to your computer. After that, you can send them directly to your Pillar account via text or email. 
  1. Organize your documents — If you’re wondering how to organize digital documents, don’t worry. It’s very easy to do on Pillar. We’ve even created categorized document checklists to help you organize your documents and ensure that you upload all the ones you need.
  1. Invite your family and loved ones to collaborate — Once your Pillar account is ready to go, you can start inviting family members and loved ones to collaborate. Pillar allows you to create an unlimited number of plans for different family members. All you have to do is send them an invitation via email. 

As you can see, using Pillar is easy. Now that you know how to store important documents with a family document organizer, you can upgrade your system and take advantage of all the benefits of going paperless. Most importantly, your family can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having shareable, secure documents at the touch of their fingertips.

To learn more about Pillar Life, check out our review on WalletBrain.

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