Going paperless was not easy 10 years ago. Even if it was cumbersome, it was normal to have stacks upon stacks of files in an office. The technology was already available but for a hefty price. Putting all those documents into electronic form would’ve cost thousands of dollars.
Today, going paperless is simple and inexpensive. What are the advantages of this?
It saves the company a lot of money. The need for file cabinets, papers, folders, and ink are significantly lessened. The money that usually goes to these supplies can now be rerouted to other, more important things. Every boss will surely be enticed with this perk of going paperless.
Pilers are really going to benefit from it. It used to be that piling was considered as a waste of space. With the abundance of cheap hard drives, you can now save everything—including documents that you might think worthless. You’ll never know if you still need these in the future.
Ease of saving and locating files
Instead of printing hundreds of pages of documents, you can now save just by doing a few steps on the keyboard. Simply type “save as” and you’re already done on your archiving task. Going paperless means storing important files in a split second. But remember, you have to have enough data space on your drive.
Also, there is a type of ink that fade quickly through time, which makes a document useless. Going paperless is an ingenious alternative. Electronic copies can be viewed over and over again on the computer screen—there will be no smudging and fading of ink, ever.
One of the perks is the ease of file sharing. If your co-worker needs a copy of a report or some other printed material, you can now save yourself from going through piles of dusty folders.
Moreover, going paperless saves a lot of time and effort. No longer do you need to have an assistant with you to look for something.
Like most technological innovation, it also has some disadvantages.
The risk of losing data
Suppose you’re at the office and you’re working on something important when suddenly, the power went off. There is a risk of losing all that you’ve worked on. Also, all types of electronic data are susceptible to corruption. A harmful virus can likewise wipe it out if you don’t have adequate protection.
Going paperless requires you to be more careful of your files. These technological failures are quite common nowadays; the best way to prevent this is to always back up.
Going paperless doesn’t spare you from the task of filing properly
This does not mean everything’s taken cared of. You still have to work on it and make sure that filing is done properly. Start by coming up with categories. Next, put all your files in its proper place. You can also rename them for easier retrieval.
Most people do their filing by having labels such as “clients,” “prospects,” “general information,” “application forms,” etc. Create subcategories if you want to be extra-organized. Those who are successful on going paperless never forget to update their files. Keep your database accurate by doing necessary changes. For example, if a prospect eventually became a client, put him or her in the “client” category right away.
You still have to do your own filing
Going paperless requires you to do your own filing, unless you want other people to snoop on your own computer. This also puts you in the habit of getting to know what’s in your database. It also practices your skills in tinkering with your own laptop or computer.
Resist the urge to print
Only use your printer occasionally. Having a hard copy might seem comforting to you but if don’t switch to reading documents on screen; you won’t acquire the habit of going paperless.
There are some helpful tools that can help you in your goal:
- eFax can be used for a minimal monthly charge. Faxes are automatically dumped into your inbox and you can look at them anytime, anywhere.
- LapLink can do virtual filing for you. This is perfect if you’re having troubles with understanding technical computer stuff. You can also use LapLink Sharedirect for sharing.
- Adobe Acrobat converts documents into pdf files. This file type is readable with most, if not all kinds of devices. It also has a print function that makes it easier to have those hardcopies. This makes saving, sending and protecting a breeze.
- Scanners are not a thing of the past. Just scan whatever photo or document you have on hand and save it as a digital file. You can now send to whoever needs it. What’s more, going paperless allows you to reproduce hardcopies multiple times through scanning.