The idea of a truly paperless office is a highly appealing one, and particularly around the home. Paper has a bad habit of looking highly disorganised and cluttered, and this often results in the office becoming overrun with piles of paper that make the whole room look untidy. Then when it’s time to find the documents you so diligently stored, all too often you’ll find it’s actually impossible to locate where you put them.
With a paperless office you would be able to keep everything much tidier and more organised, you’d have more room to store the things you actually cared about, and life would be much easier when you needed to move home. And it would be good for the environment too…
But how do you actually go about making an office paperless? Read on and we’ll look at some of the things you can do to make that a reality.
Stop Receiving Bills
If you’re still receiving bills and bank statements in the post, it’s probably because that’s the way you set up your account when you first signed your contract. These days many companies prefer to go paperless, and if you get in touch you can probably be transferred to the new system. Most banks for instance will these days allow you to access your statements online rather than having them e-mailed to you, and many energy providers and internet companies will send you your bills via e-mail. Switch to these systems and you can that way save yourself from piling up papers.
Buy a Scanner
You are still going to get some paper documents though, so you need to come up with a plan for what to do with those. To that end you should buy yourself a portable scanner. The best of these work by taking in items on a paper feed much as a printer takes in paper. They then scan each page automatically, front and back, and save them to your computer.
Some of these scanners will even use OCR (optical character recognition) in order to accurately group your papers and in order to let you convert them into Word Documents and other editable files.
Send them to the Cloud
That’s a lot of documents you probably now have on your computer though, so you may want to consider using a cloud service to store them somewhere other than your hard drive. Use a cloud service and you can keep those documents saved off of your computer and access them from anywhere in the world. Use something like Evernote and you can even search the contents of your scanned files using the OCR again. This is a great demonstration of just how much more versatile going paperless makes you.
Get a Tablet
With one of the scanners described above you can even take the staples out of a magazine and then scan the whole thing into your computer as a PDF. But you’re hardly going to want to read a magazine on your desktop PC…
Which is where it comes in handy to have some kind of tablet or slate that you can put on your lap and swipe through at your leisure. Now you can keep your entire magazine collection on your tablet and read it on your way to work!
…With a Stylus
Want even more versatility? Then choose a tablet with a stylus (a proper digitizer) and you’ll then be able to write onto the documents to annotate them as well, meaning there’s nothing you can do with your hardcopy documents that you can’t now do with your digital copies.
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