How Digitization Can Help to Get Rid of Paper Clutter

Digital documents

Do you prefer a clean desk or a messy one? How well maintained is your desk currently? People often pile countless papers on their desks or shove them in file drawers and forget about them. Hence, finding important information is quite a hassle. Even if you have a well-maintained filing system, the amount of time it takes to retrieve specific documents takes away from time spent on more important tasks.  To make matters worse, paper also has a negative impact on the environment and if there is ever is a natural disaster, you may end up losing all your data!

What’s the solution? Go paperless because doing so has so many benefits. Let’s talk about them in greater detail and see how digitization can help reduce paper clutter.

Understanding the Concept of a Paperless Office

A paperless office is exactly what the name suggests—a corporate setup in which paper usage is completely eliminated. Not only does this help you reduce costs but also use advanced document management systems that improve workflow processes, productivity, collaboration and efficiency. Of course a transitory process is involved which includes converting your existing paper based documents to digital format. Typically the best option for this task is to outsource to a document imaging company that has experience helping organizations with “digital transformation”.

Why Go Paperless

Lower Carbon Footprint

This is one of the most notable advantages of reducing your paper usage. Using paper in lower quantities means that more trees will get to live, which reduces pollution and preserves exotic wildlife.

Easy Access

If your digital documents are stored on a cloud platform, you can access them from anywhere even if you aren’t at the office. Plus, the documents can be reviewed on mobile phones and tablets, so you can quickly look up important information. Improved Collaboration

Internal documents are often needed by multiple people at any given time. Digitizing documents makes them easily accessible to a number of employees at the same time, streaming collaboration. This also improves task management flow, making it easier for you to track and monitor different operations and tasks.

Easier Management

Keeping paper based documents in an organized manner can be a hassle. But document management systems eliminate the problems associated with maintaining paper or microfilm records. Any information that you want can be looked up quickly. Also, all the data is backed up automatically decreasing potential risks.

Security

Digital documents are stored on secure servers and databases that are encrypted using advanced technology. Moreover, user access controls are often deployed, so only authorized individuals can access data that is required for their job.

Reduced Costs

Digitizing documents help you reduce tangible and intangible costs. Since you don’t need to print documents, you save on paper and ink costs. You also can save storage space because files aren’t needed anymore.

Eliminating Paper Usage

Though you may not be able to completely eliminate your paper usage, you can still reduce it significantly. The first step usually involves transferring your current paper-based documents to a suitable online location, which can either be your local network server or a cloud hosting solution. While you can do this on your own if you have a suitable scanner, it is best to utilize professional document imaging services. They’ll do a much better job than you, producing higher quality digital documents and taking less time to do so. Generally, it is best to use a document management tool to organize all the digitized documents.

When all your documents are in a digital format, tag them so that you can find information whenever you need to. You could also store them in different folders to make navigation easier. Once digitization is complete, keep the following tips in mind so that your paper usage remains minimum.

Recycle

What do you do with all the documents that you have scanned and don’t need any longer? Send them away for recycling – in this way, you remove the clutter, and preserve the environment.

Opt for Email Bills

Many services and organizations let you choose between soft and hard copies for bills and receipts. Go with the former choice whenever you can. This way, you’ll reduce paper arriving at your office.

And by the way, when you start getting bills online, you can track them easily and can set reminders for paying them. In some cases, the bills can also be paid automatically if you select the option. 

Use a Notes App

How many notes do you leave on your desk, the cabinet or elsewhere? Get rid of all these notes, as well as the pen and paper that you use. Now download a notes app and save all important points or to-do items on your phone. Look around, and you’ll find apps that are compatible with your mobile and desktop, allowing you to access the notes whenever needed.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Share all documents via email or a central online repository rather than printing them every time
  • Keep digital copies of your business card.
  • Avoid paper based bank statements, and use electronic statements instead.
  • Ask vendors to send you invoices via email.

More about Document Management Systems

Document management systems are used for storing and retrieving digital files. These tools are designed to help you create and maintain a proper document flow throughout the process. An ideal system should have the following features

  • A powerful search function so that you can find whatever you’re looking for quickly
  • A file versioning module that maintains the latest as well as previous file versions
  • Accessible on mobile devices

Do you now want to go paperless if you haven’t already? If you do, you will reap the benefits and pave the way for organizational growth.

Author Bio:

Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Company in Lodi, N.J., they are experts in providing document scanning services, and affordable book scanning services and Convert Microfilm to Digital. They scan paper files, large format drawings, digitize books, convert microfilm to digital, etc. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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