First of all, lets begin by defining the term paperless. The definition of paperless involves the storage or communication of information in electronic form, rather than on paper.
This concept has triggered a lot of businesses to go paperless due to the benefits it creates. Not to mention, it’s environmentally friendly. As people adapted to the idea, the money market grabbed it and ran with it hence the Nook, scanning apps, and lets not forget, online banking.
Who knew there’d be a day we can take a photo of an endorsed check and it is deposited into our accounts with out stepping foot in a bank. Mind blown!
Paperless is definitely a great way to have access to your documents wherever you are plus, it gets your physical environment less cluttered. The real issue is, the theory in going paperless may not always be the best solution for everyone, especially if you haven’t done proper research. In order to convert, you must have the proper equipment, software and be willing to fully adapt into this lifestyle.
The idea of going paperless is an evolution to the way we manage paper, but the truth is one can never be 100% paperless.
Let’s dig in a little deeper and start with conversion.
If you want to convert all old/archive documents to electronic, it will take time.
Not just 1-2 days but more like 2-3 months (if that) of sorting, tossing, scanning and re-naming every single document to your storage system.
Once that is done, you’d need to include a backup system where you can frequently backup your documents (once a day, once a week or once a month). These systems include, hard drives and/or cloud based systems. With that said, you will need to have some knowledge of technology.
For example, I save all business related materials to my Google Drive and for my Mac user clients; I like to us Time Machine. Google Photos is also a great backup system that allows you to store your beloved photos! Memories!
In order to hop on the paperless movement, you’d also need to invest in a quality scanner. When it comes to scanning boxes of archives, having a great scanner will make the process easier and quicker.
The Fujitsu B005 Image Scanner ScanSnap iX500 (they also have an Evernote Edition), which can scan to either your Mac or PC, is a great one.
A less expensive but good scanner is the Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner.
It’s easy to use and can send your documents straight to the Cloud with just a press of a button. If this is too much, thank goodness for the app world, if you don’t have loads of paper to scan, there are plenty of scanning apps like TurboScan and Scanner Pro that let you scan just with one click.
Because the idea of being completely paperless is still evolving, here are a couple of documents that are required to be in paper format: passports/licenses, tax returns/receipts for seven years, birth/death certificates, deeds/stock certificates, social security card, mortgage paperwork and wills/legal papers.
Therefore, as a business owner, it is important to keep the documents you can’t switch in a lockbox or safe.
These types of storages are great investments that help avoid damages due to natural disaster or from being stolen.
I can go on and on about the pros and cons of becoming paperless and give you tips on how to do it but at the end, it all depends on your comfort levels.
Effectively reducing the usage of paper isn’t a one-time thing and wont go into extinction for many years. As long as your goal is moving away from paper and creating an environment that encourages the morality of preventing environmental waste, your business will be on track.
Enhancing business practices to decrease paper usage is inevitable now, but implementing the proper tools will get your business closer to the goal of being paperless.
To avoid error as a business owner, I can’t stress this enough, it is crucial to maintain organization in all aspect of your business. Whether it be making your process fully digital to removing unnecessary clutter. Being organized will not only save you time but it will save you money.
Are you ready to receive the expert assistance, encouragement, and accountability on how to keep your Business in order? Reserve your courtesy Organizing Breakthrough Session today!
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