A lot of businesses still store information on paper and have piles of it stored elsewhere. But, there’s always that one paper file you can’t seem to find no matter how well-organized you are. Luckily, technology has developed enough to offer companies a way to get rid of paper for good.
However, it seems that some businesses aren’t quite ready to break the old habits and embrace innovations. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to make your life easier by not having to sort through tons of dead trees until you find what you’re looking for, technology has a digital solution for you. Here are a few steps you can take towards creating an almost paperless.
Convert paper into digital format
The first step towards building a paperless office is converting your paper files into digital files. This will free up physical space in your office and also make cataloging a lot easier. You’ll no longer need colored files and name tags to help you organize papers in cabinets. Instead, you’ll create folders in your digital library.
You can convert around 200 pounds of paper into about 2GB of digital data – all you need is a good scanner. In addition, you can use online tools, such as Google Docs to edit documents and spreadsheets with your business associates or coworkers at the same time and even chat about it while you’re at it.
Online bill payments and statements
By going online with bill payments and statements, you’re reducing the amount of paper in your office. That means you’ll also save on envelopes, checks, postage, and mailings. Many businesses choose e-banking, as it’s more convenient and easier to track. A lot of banks offer online bill payment options and some even offer paperless statements.
You can pay bills using a debit card online or link your bank account with a certain service. Furthermore, most of these online billings can be automated and you can even use your mobile device to make payments. Moreover, you no longer have to print receipts and hand them out to customers, instead, you can simply send them by email.
Online storage space
You’ve already realized how much space and filing cabinets you need to properly store paper files in your office. Luckily, technology has brought external hard drives and cloud storages to help you along. External hard drives still require physical space, although not nearly as much as paper files, while cloud solutions allow you to store files online and have access to them from any location in the world.
Nowadays, any business can use managed IT services in the cloud that doesn’t only allow them to store files, but to have access to licensed software, IT infrastructure, monitoring and regular updates as well, without having to invest heavily. Basically, it can meet all the needs of an almost paperless office. And, we keep saying almost paperless because you can’t keep legal documents in digital format at all times.
Printouts and meetings
You no longer have to circle important dates on your calendar. Today, there are apps that help you schedule meetings and set reminders so you can always be updated. You can also write notes in digital format so you don’t have to look for pieces of paper you wrote important information on, all over your office.
Furthermore, there is no need for printouts when holding presentations at meetings. Technology once again has your back in these situations. Now, you can use modern tech and software to hold presentations and share files, transmit videos and access screen sharing – among other things – while you hold the presentation.
Scanning and faxing
A lot of businesses still use a fax machine to send out documents to others, for some odd reason – let that sink in for a moment, especially if you’re an owner of one of those businesses. Instead of using an old and slow method of sending paper files, you can simply use an email to instantly deliver documents to your associates and partners.
Moreover, you can convert paper files to PDF digital files and upload them to cloud services. That way anyone that needs to have instant access to those files will be able to access them whenever they need to. Also, modern apps allow you to take pictures of documents with your mobile device and convert them into PDF files straight away.
Going paperless is a popular trend in the business world nowadays and not just because it’s more convenient, but also because it’s good for the environment. The digital age offers a way to do business without having to stockpile mountains of paper and operate in the online world with ease and efficiency.