Tips for embracing the paperless future

July 9th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Business Process Automation

Paper reduction is becoming a priority for many leaders in the business world who want to increase their productivity and streamline their organization systems, and small companies often find that going paperless can completely revolutionize the way that their workplace functions. Still, business owners often wonder how to initiate the paper-to-digital transition, which is why Macworld Magazine senior contributor Joe Kissell recently shared some of his tips to help make the paperless possible.

According to Kissell, who is also the author of Take Control of Your Paperless Office, the first step for business owners who have invested in a document conversion service is to analyze their goals. There are many benefits to eliminating paper – organizational reasons, environmental concerns, and increased productivity – but just what, exactly, is the company hoping to achieve by going paperless? It's important to focus on specific goals – that way, the business's progress will be easy to see. 

"For me, a paperless office is more about convenience than anything else," he wrote. "Digital documents are easier to search, share, and back up than paper documents, and they take up essentially no space."

Kicking the paper habit
Next, Kissell said, it's crucial for employers and employees alike to change their mindset when it comes to paper. It's one thing to have technology in place which makes it easy to scan and file documents digitally, but it's another thing entirely to get into the habit of using that technology to its full potential while trying to decrease the amount of paper the business itself generates. A company that can quickly adapt to a paperless office and make it a priority will find that its productivity increases quickly as well. 

Finally, Kissell said that business owners shouldn't feel guilty if the occasional piece of paper makes its way into the office. 

"My office isn't completely paperless and probably never will be," he shared. "I'll keep scanning until there's no more incoming paper, and in the meantime I'll bask in the knowledge that without tedious tasks such as filing, faxing, stamping and mailing, I'm already living in the nearly paperless future."

Microsoft Business recently reminded readers that the transition to a paper-free office won't happen overnight. Going paperless is a progression, and it's important to stay focused and keep working towards that goal – even if physical copies of documents may be necessary for some time.

Other companies may still operate on a paper-based system, and there's no stopping incoming mail. But even if it's difficult to reduce the amount of incoming paper, using the right document management software can eliminate the inconveniences that go along with finding, storing and filing physical documents. 

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