Why you should digitize 'everything'

Two events this week, one personal and another that is making international headlines, made me re-think what can, and should, be digitized: Everything. If you're a regular reader of this column, you'll remember my piece, " ." In that column, I talked about my quest to eliminate paper in favor of electronic alternatives. But this week I realized that some things other than paper documents and media can, and should, be digitized.

The first event that sparked this epiphany was my ". My idea was to take the monthly expense for a big house, and divide it between a small studio in California and hotel rooms, bungalows, huts - whatever - as my wife and I travel around the world for much of each year.

The challenge: What to do with all our stuff? Our goal: Get rid of half our "stuff" by selling, donating or throwing away, place about one quarter into storage, and move the remaining quarter into the studio.

The second event I mentioned was a disaster in my city. I live in Santa Barbara, Calif., which as I write this is surrounded by ". At press time, some 30,000 people have been ". Many had to get out with less than 20 minutes notice.

Which raises the question: What do you give up when you streamline, downsize and go digital nomad? And, what do you lose when your house burns in a fire?

Furniture and buildings can be replaced. But what about old family pictures? Paintings your children made in kindergarten? Trophies? Award plaques? Objects passed down from previous generations?