With the abundance of mobile applications, online software and digital storage platforms, businesses have plenty of opportunities to cut back on paper usage in the office. Doing is not only environmentally friendly, but it can also increase organization by filing everything in one place – sans loose papers.
To help ease the process of going paperless, we asked experts to share their best advice.
Make it a habit
Using pen and paper might feel like an instinct, but going paperless can become a natural practice, too. Even if you're unfamiliar with a software/service, don't be afraid to embrace tech advancements.
"Many companies are resistant to any change in their ways of working, including going paperless," said Alex Shevelenko, CEO and founder of RELAYTO. "Although culture cannot be changed overnight, the trick here is to have an alternative solution that is as low-friction and easy to deploy as possible."
Train yourself to choose digital services whenever you can – but don't force it. It might take time, but it will eventually feel like second-nature.
Make the transition gradual
Andrej Godina, head of IT at Inform Communications, noted that you can still use a pen and paper while going paperless. You don't have to quit cold turkey, and you certainly do not to go entirely digital.
"Our aim was to make the transition as effortless, easy and as smooth as possible," he said. "We focused our efforts on becoming more efficient which in turn manifests itself via speed of storage and retrieval … Once you can take out the pain and friction of going paperless, the promotion and usage takes care of itself."
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Invest in better tech
While some digital platforms are free, like Google Docs and Basecamp, there are many other necessary ones that come at a cost. Don't shy away from choosing a great software or service because it's a bit pricier than you'd like it to be. If you want quality performance, you need to invest in quality equipment and programs
Apps, software and services
You can achieve a paperless office by familiarizing yourself with and investing in these software and services.
With scanning apps, you can scan notes, documents, images and more so they're all in one digital location.
Instead of requiring a written signature on-paper, e-signature services allow you to sign digitally.
You can keep tabs of and organize your small business expenses online using expense-tracking apps.
For more information, check out these five expense-tracking apps.
With fax services, you can send and receive faxes through email and store them digitally.
For more information, check out our best picks for online fax services.
Document management software and services
Whether you choose self-hosted or cloud-hosted, document management systems will act as a digital filing cabinet.
For more information, check out our best picks for document management software and services.
Cloud storage services
Share and store large files without the worry of misplacing or losing them.
For more information, check out our best picks for cloud storage services.
Keep track of and monitor your finances with accounting software.
For more information, check out our best picks for accounting software.
Digital time and attendance systems
You and your workers can track hours digitally using time and attendance systems.
For more information, check out our best picks for time and attendance systems.