Tips To Help You Go Paperless
Whether it’s a multi-million dollar organization or a home office, many businesses want to go paperless but they don’t know how. Paper products have been an integral part of their lives for so long, they can’t imagine workflow management such as marketing, sales, monitoring profits and losses, and daily dealings without it. On the other hand, going paperless has its benefits. Businesses can reduce costs on paper, ink, filing cabinets and file storage facilities. Tips to go paperless come in various forms.
Going paperless is not going to happen overnight. Scanning existing documents and storing them as electronic files via a software process is going to be a long and tedious process. But once everything is scanned and electronically filed, scanning and storing future incoming documents will only take a minimum of time. One of the benefits for future use is, should a document need to be sent by email, the electronic file is at the user’s fingertips.
Electronic files can either be stored on a computer hard drive, USB sticks, or management tools such as “Evernote”, “Dropbox” or “File This”. These services offer sorting and searching features with access from any computer anywhere in the world.
In the absence of a scanner, a digital camera or even a phone can be of service. Small items such as checks and receipts don’t need to be scanned. A picture can be snapped which can then be sent to an email account and saved in the appropriate computer file. Once the file is saved, the check or receipt can be shredded.
Instead of using paper forms that need to be filled out – you can use an online form builder to handle this task. The form can created, completed, and stored digitally.
Should there be a fire or flood, digital files are safe as they can be stored offsite.
Workflow management starts by monitoring where paper is coming from. To set a good example, stop sending letters to business associates and clients and opt for a software process such as email. When businesses and clients receive communication by email, they will respond by email, thus eliminating incoming mail.
Another way of going paperless is to unsubscribe from newspapers and magazines. Nearly all publications can be found online, read via an electronic reader and saved online.
Sign up for electronic bills such as utilities, credit cards, phone bills, banking statements, insurance policies and others. It’s just as easy to view these documents online as it is to get them in the mail. In turn, a software process can be set up to send reminders when bills need to be paid or automatic payment can be arranged with the bank.
Should contracts require a signature and/or initials on certain pages, instead of printing the document, sign it and then scan it to be sent to the originator, use a software process to record and store a digital signature. All it takes is signing a piece of paper, scanning it, cropping it if necessary and saving it. The next time a document needs to be signed, simply open the appropriate software, copy the signature that needs to appear on the document and paste it.
Whenever an electronic document is received, it’s only natural to want to print them for future reference. Resist printing and rather save a copy on your computer. Whether it’s a letter, an email or a webpage, anything and everything can be digitally saved.