Do you ever receive those e-mails where the signature contains a line that goes something like “think about the environment, do you really need to print this e-mail?”. I get them occasionally, and I think it’s a good reminder not to waste paper unless you have to. At the same time, I know of several people who prints just about anything that will take more than a minute to read on the screen. I don’t know why but I guess they just prefer reading stuff on paper than on the screen, but I still think it’s wasting paper.
This has led me to think about the paperless office as a work environment. Most offices are not quite there yet. A recent study reveals that 51% believe that a digital workflow makes filing and managing documents easier and 61% say that working digitally cuts costs. And finally, nearly a third believes that a digital workflow gives them an edge and helps them win business.
So there’s definitely room for improvement, when only half believe that a digital workflow makes filing and managing documents easier.
I work mostly with IT so I’m the one people rely on when things doesn’t work as planned. I need to keep track of backups and ensure we can always restore if the accident happen and a server goes down, or we are hacked. I don’t use a single piece of paper to keep track of anything IT related, it’s all digitally managed, including tons of to-do lists. But that’s because I’m in IT, so it’s a bit easier to keep things paperless, compared to bookkeepers, bosses, salesmen etc., I would imagine.
In my personal life, whenever I receive a physical document that is worth keeping, I scan it and save it in a secure place. That way, I can always find it again and I can find it a lot faster and easier than locating the physical copy. Evernote is a great free tool for most people to store their personal digital stuff within.
If you’re in a situation, work-wise, where you find it hard to “let go” and move into a digital workflow, then probably [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]you need information management solutions[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]you need information management solutions[/tp] to do the hard work for you. This is an industry where you can get help to store and manage paper documents by scanning and digitizing them. By having your physical paper documents digitized, you get access to search in them – so you don’t have to spend hours searching for the needle in a haystack to find that one specific contract, just search for it in your IT system and you’ll find it in seconds, after which you can instantly share it with as many people you want, without having to first photocopy it.
Sooner or later, the world probably has to adapt and stop wasting natural resources when not needed.