It has been the holy grail of the stationery cupboard for the last three decades to achieve a paperless office. Imagine a world where you can “call up documents from files on the screen, or by pressing a button”, or get “mail or any messages” from a “TV-display terminal with keyboard”.
With some diligence and flexibility to change your old ways, you can have a pretty big impact. Let’s be honest here, the environmental effects of going paperless will be secondary to the impact on your bottom line. The more important question is: How much can you save by going paperless?
Consider these statistics from industry experts:
It’s easy to see how we could benefit from less paper and more organisation in our offices, therefore I put together a list of my favourite methods anyone can use to go paperless – or at least limit the amount of paper you are currently using.
Not only will you have less in your file cabinet, you will be able to find all your data a lot faster, given you actually take the time to come up with a naming and storage method.
Using a scanner with auto-feeder you can remove paper clutter by digitising paper files, save space, eliminate file cabinets, eliminate folders, find documents faster, and easily email documents directly. There are tons of options out there but here are some good one to consider based on your needs.
For home or small based business an economical light software package will do the trick. Here are a couple options that are reasonably priced and get the job done: PaperLess Light (Launch soon). If you are in a high-volume, organisational environment then you will want to go with a professional package like the PaperLess original package customised for different levels of user amount.
2. Online Storage and Document Apps
Once you have got your documents scanned in its best to put them into an online workspace or workflow application which PaperLess will do the job perfectly for you. Once upload you can take your documents on the road for access anywhere anytime and easily share them with co-workers, family or friends by using PaperLess remote access feature. You also prevent the possibility losing all the valuable data if your hard drive hits the fritz, and as an added bonus it is a lot easier to search for within the PaperLess workspace!
3. E-approving Documents
If you are going paperless for a business, you might be thinking “Well what about all my contracts and legal documents that need to be approved by my colleagues? Can I get them approved without paper hassle?” Well fear not as there is document approval management solution within the PaperLess software, so you will be able to avoid paper even when you need others to approve documents instantly, and even distantly. You can securely send documents and acquire signatures while reducing travel and courier expenses too. Nice right?
4. Complete Accounting Workflow Management
If all of the options above still don’t cut it, you are probably pretty crazy about going paperless, good for you! So a complete accounting workflow management system is your best option. This can capture information from a variety sources like your scanner or many office products like MS Office, Outlook Mailbox, account systems, and create a document database that can index a whole variety of information. On top of that many features in PaperLess software offer distribution controls and workflows so processes that involve documents can be visualised, edited, and tracked.
Now that you have read through some of the solutions we have been using to go paperless, it is time you use some of this arsenal for your own betterment.
Have more suggestions I didn’t mention? Share your tips in the comments. Oh and last but not least, please consider the environment before printing this article.
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