File what? How to eliminate paper with “FileThis”

September 17th, 2014

I am often asked “how can I easily get rid of papers that enter the house?”  My first question is “what types of papers come in to the house?”  The typical answer is mail, bills, statements, etc.  The logical response is stop them from coming in to the house.  I mean, stop the physical papers.

File This Paperless Made EffortlessYears ago, I heard of a service called “File This Fetch”.  It is now called “FileThis“.  Not sure why they dropped the fetch but the service is the same… actually it continues to get better.  The gist of FileThis is you sign up for the service, connect your accounts (utilities, financial statements, pay stubs, etc) and File This fetches your statements and bills.  It then files them in a location you designate.  I will let you read about the security of sharing your log-ins.   I am not concerned about the security.  I have been sharing my logins with reputable sites like Quickbooks and Mint for years.  FileThis enables you to stop receiving the paper statements and bills and still keep them organized.

I was recently asked a bunch of questions about FileThis.  I figured many others may have these same questions.  Check it out.  See if FileThis could help you reduce the amount of papers that enter your home and helps you keep the documents more organized.

Where do your FileThis documents go?
I have my FileThis documents filed in Dropbox once they have been fetched.  They have the option to have them sent to Evernote, Google Drive, Box and a few other online document storage sites as well as your computer.  They also have a limited amount of online storage available at FileThis.

What constitutes a “connection”?
A connection is an institution say Bank of America, Comcast, Verizon,  Amazon, Capital One, ADP, American Express.  You could have multiple accounts at the institution but it still counts as one connection.

FileThis add a connectionIt looks like the free plan only fetches once a week.  Can you make FileThis “fetch on demand”?  
You can force fetch on demand by logging in on any version.  Click on the “retry” icon next to each institution to manually fetch.

You mentioned that you FileThis into Dropbox.   So, if in the future, say you severed ties with FileThis, you would still be able to access what you Dropboxed in via FileThis without FileThis controlling the access visibility into the data stored in your Dropbox account?
FileThis imports the documents as PDFs.  Once they are stored on a new server (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box) they are yours on those sites.  You can do with them as you want.  You can move, rename, delete or anything else you choose. 

Have you found one of your providers that is not “Fetchable” via FileThis?   Or have you pretty much found that everyone you do business with is “fetchable”?
Yup, pretty much the same experience you all having been having here.  My local water & sewer co does not sync with File This.  Luckily the bill only comes quarterly so I go to their site (I keep my passwords in Roboform and have a folder within Roboform labeled Utilities so I can easily find my logins) and manually fetch it myself to my Dropbox.  FileThis asks users to suggest additional providers so they can establish a connection.

Can you manage and control PDFs on your local computer from within FileThis?   or will FileThis only digest what it “fetches”?
I don’t typically go to FileThis directly unless I want a manual pull (sync).  I access my PDFs within Dropbox.  FileThis does have a filing cabinet style storage on their site.  You can upload documents from your computer to store on their site.  I prefer to hold on to my documents versus storing them on their servers so should there be a time I choose to cut ties with FileThis, I don’t have to start transferring them all over to my computer or Dropbox.

Which subscription level do you utilize?  
So far, I have only been using the free version.  I don’t have a lot of statements that I pull in.  I have only been playing with it within the past year but can definitely see paying for a paid version when I find my needs (or wants) change.

FileThis plans

How do you know when a bill has been paid especially if you still pay manually?  How do you identify it in your files?  
Most of my bills are on auto-pay.  I do check my FileThis folder weekly.  When a bill has been paid, I move it from the FileThis folder to a new folder on Dropbox.  This is particularly important when the bill is a tax deduction for my business. I file it in a folder that indicates it is a tax deduction. 

What happens if they go away as so many have come and gone over the years. What is the advantage to going through FileThis before putting things in Evernote or Dropbox? Why not just put documents in there directly?
When your documents are stored in any of the selected services other than FileThis Cloud, they are yours regardless of what happens to the service provider.   The advantage of using FileThis is it automates the process of pulling the documents and it stores it for you so you don’t have to log-in to each provider and download a PDF statement.  Companies do go caput… most online storage companies allow users 60 – 90 days to download their content before making it go goodbye for good. 

I know you are all about cross-platform.  Can I use FileThis on a Mac or PC?  How about on my phone or tablet?
You know me well.  Yes, FileThis can be accessed on a Mac or PC.  It is a secure website, not an application that you download.  There is a iOS app.  They are claiming an Android app will be available any day.  Honestly, the beauty of FileThis is you set it and forget it.  It automates the fetch and file process so you shouldn’t have to access their site often.  

I hope this provides you incentive to check it out.  For me FileThis is a time and space saver.  It adds time to my day while reducing paper in my home and office.  Let me know if you have other questions.  I will gladly provide my best answers.

What will you do with your new found free time?

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