Regardless of how far technology has come, so many offices around the world are still piled high with paperwork. Nobody likes dealing with it and there’s no reason you should have to. It’s also pretty expensive for businesses to constantly be printing things out, not to mention it’s not very green. Going paperless is the answer.
Being environmentally friendly is more important than ever as consumers are making a lot of their purchasing decisions based on how green the company is. That’s why going paperless is a no-brainer. It’s nowhere near as hard as you think and it’ll make life so much easier for you once everything is digital. Whether you’re running a large office or you’re running a business from home, here’s how to get rid of that pesky paperwork for good.
Going Paperless Means Scan Everything
When you get an invoice or a receipt for something, you’ll need to keep it somewhere safe because you’ll probably need it in the future. That means you end up with folders filled with paper that you only need occasionally. But it’s not the document itself you need, it’s just the information that’s on there. That’s why a scanner is an essential piece of office equipment. Just scan in those important documents right away and then you can get rid of the paper copy before it starts cluttering up the office. You may as well scan everything you get, even if it doesn’t seem that important. That way, you’ve got a record of absolutely everything, but you don’t have to find anywhere to store it.
When it comes to my accounts I do this, I use an app to scan receipts in, I download and send invoices, bank statements and everything then securely transfer them to my accountant. They are there in digital for if I ever needed to print them for an audit etc but save a lot of space, paper and ink in the meantime.
Scanning all of your mail in is great, but what if you could get somebody else to do it for you so you don’t ever have to see a piece of paper at all? Sites like https://physicaladdress.com offer a virtual mailbox service. You’ll get an address which is tied to an office building where all of your mail gets sent. They’ll scan it in and send you digital copies right away so you don’t have to worry about digitising anything yourself. The other added bonus is that having a proper address makes you look more legitimate if you’re running the business from home.
Digital Alternatives To Paper
Even if you’re digitising the paper that people send you, you’ll still have a lot of paper products around the office that you use on a daily basis. The next step is to swap those out for digital alternatives. For example, if you use a paper notebook, you can download some great notebook apps for your phone or tablet. If you’re using a paper calendar to organize things, switch to an online one instead (https://www.thebalancesmb.com has a handy list of the best ones). Online calendar apps are far better than a paper one anyway because everybody can see it and make additions to it from anywhere. I’m a Google Calendar gal myself.
Ask For Digital Copies
By now, you should have removed most of the paper from the office. Now you just need to make sure you don’t start collecting it again by asking anybody that sends you things to send digital copies and ask all of your staff to stick to digital as well.
If you follow these simple steps, you can rid your office of paper for good and save yourself a lot of time and money. If my home over-office can be overwhelmed by a cascade of paper I’m sure physical offices have much the same problem, if not worse. Going paperless is the answer!