In your typical office environment going paperless can be a difficult task. But why continue to keep the clutter around? Why not find another way to reduce your carbon footprint, become more organized and enhance the security and privacy of your office documents. Here are a few good tips on going paperless in your office.
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So, if you’re truly going to take the big step and go completely paperless, that means you’ll have to eliminate all the current paper filed in your office. For this you’ll need to have a nice talk with your IT department and try to obtain a scanner. A basic scanner will work fine; after all, you’re just scanning documents. If you’ve got a large amount of paper files, spending 30 minutes a day scanning will help to eventually eliminate all these files. But before you start scanning, first create a clean and organized file folder system in your computer. This will help you to quickly retrieve items from your computer.
Instead of printing actual paper documents, print them to PDF. File these PDF’s in their appropriate folder. Keep in mind again that a good folder organizational system is very important here. But in case you do lose files, there is the handy search feature built into Windows and OS X. Have a monthly report or memo to print out? Speak to the appropriate people in your office and try to get the delivery method changed from paper to electronic.
So here is the thing, not everyone in your office is going to go paperless. Paper reports and documents will still be dropped on your desk. Do a little research and see what reports can be emailed or saved to a file. Talk to the people bringing you the reports and documents, and determine if they can be sent via email instead of printed on paper? Now you’re not going to be able to eliminate all the paper this way, but that’s why you’ve got the trusty scanner right?
Now that you’ve got everything safely stored into your computer, you’re going to feel a little at risk here. Research cloud back-up options. There are literally hundreds of them out there. Be careful though, because not all are completely secure, nor do they all keep your information 100% confidential. Do your research and be wary of anything that mentions syncing and sharing. Syncing is technically backing up your system but it’s not the most secure method. Look for companies that actually offer secure encrypted cloud backups. Of course you can always back-up your system to an external drive and take it off-site.