Paperless Office: Stop The Clutter
We’ve all been hearing about the fabled paperless office for decades now. Dunder-Mifflin employees notwithstanding, this is a scenario most of us have wanted all along. The benefits are many: less solid waste, less office clutter, easier document search and retrieval, zero cost file sharing; the list goes on.
And it’s so much easier than in the past. We’ve seen companies in previous years spend considerable amounts to achieve this once-elusive goal, investing in high-end scanners, CRM add-ons and the like. While larger organizations may still have pricey needs, this is no longer true for the small business.
Any significant change in your workflow starts with a plan, but this one is simple, and you can literally start right now. If you have a smartphone, computer and/or a tablet, congratulations! You have all the hardware you’re going to need.
Paperless Office Apps and Cloud Storage
You’ll want some software to keep your documents in order. Evernote is a great program that does this and much more, and the basic level is free. Just download the app to your computer, smartphone and/or tablet and get started. Your Evernote “notes” will remain synced across all your devices.
The Neat Scanner + Software is another great option. Similar to Evernote, your files are stored in the cloud for easy access from anywhere.
- When a paper document arrives in your office, scan it with your device’s camera and save it to an app like Evernote or Neat. Now you have a digital copy, and no need to hang on to the paper.
- You can also save the image file in any number of formats such as pdf or jpeg and upload it to a cloud service such as Google drive, iCloud or DropBox.
- Get in the habit of doing this procedure with every paper document that comes into your office and voila! There’s your paperless workflow!
Virtual Mentor Michael Hyatt is a poweruser and huge advocate of Evernote and shares his detailed processes and tips on his blog and podcast here:
- How I Organize Evernote
- 12 Surprising Ways to Use Evernote You Might not Have Considered
- How to Use Evernote to Overcome the Biggest Challenge in Achieving Your Goals
Most communities have facilities for recycling electronic hardware these days. Do you know what belongs there? Your fax machine! Of course we’re joking (sort of) when we suggest trashing your fax (especially if it’s part of an all-in-one printer copier), but the point is this: it’s time to stop faxing. The Federal government as well as many law firms have never been known as early adopters of technology so, when you see these two entities begin to accept documents by email, you know it’s time to leave the fax in the dust!
Paperless Mail (also known as email)
Another obvious advantage to the paperless office is its effect on your mailing costs. Why pay to mail a paper document when you can email it instantly and for free? No trips to the post office, no stamps and envelope or metering costs, no waiting for receipt of the document. Everybody’s happy.
This procedure also works great in your home with bills and other personal documents.
In short, you have all you need to get started today. Save those trees!
Need professional help with your paperless office? The RetroTechs have helped small businesses grow more efficient for over 20 years! Contact us with any questions or to discuss your needs.
- Evernote App Center (add-ons)
- How to Use Evernote: The Unoffical Manual
- Add Scan Destinations for NeatConnect (Evernote, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP, etc.)
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