Seven ways to go paper-free at work

Tools that will help you become a paperless legend.

Are you one of those people who decide to tidy their desk, only to be faced with piles of random papers? You know the only ones you throw out will be the ones you need at some stage down the track.

Paper is messy, frustrating and not so good for the environment so going paperless is the obvious solution.

Follow these steps to reduce the clutter at work. 

Reach for the Cloud

If you haven’t already discovered online document sharing, you’re in for a treat!

Sharing apps like Google docs make it possible for multiple users to collaborate on the same spreadsheet, presentation or document at one time.

You can easily make comments and track changes, submitting suggestions rather than edits. No more indecipherable pen scribbles!

Plus, Cloud-based document sharing will also let you view and revert to previous versions if you’re not happy with the changes.

With a wirelessly connected office, your team will be able to collaborate in one room while viewing the same document on all their screens.

Get e-invoiced

Bills, bills, bills!

You’ve still got to pay them, but ask your contacts and clients to send them electronically and you’ll drastically reduce the amount of paper you have coming in to your workplace.

Start sending your own receipts and invoices electronically and you may never have to stand up and walk to the printer again!

Use a digital notepad

It is an expensive alternative to a pen and paper, but using a tablet to keep tabs on your work for the day means you’re a lot less likely to lose your notes (and you can watch movies on the bus home at night).

Apps like OneNote, Evernote, Simplenote and Trello can help you stay on top of your to-do list.

The added benefit of having a tablet handy at work is that you can use it as a second screen when working across documents. 

Sign documents electronically

Many businesses accept digital signatures nowadays, meaning you don’t have to print out entire pages just to write your name down.

Providers such as DocuSign and EchoSign take the hassle out of signing contracts and manually sending them back and forth across the city.

For many purposes, your e-signature is as legally binding as your written signature and most systems let you access and use it across devices.

E-fax it

If for some reason your business still relies on faxes, set up an online fax machine. This lets you receive faxes digitally instead of having them printed out on paper. It will also send emails from you to other companies’ fax machines.

Efax helps you share large documents with multiple outlets and will store old documents. This tool is mobile friendly and also allows for digital signatures. 

Scan and recycle

Now that it is 2016, you can probably get rid of your Rolodex full of business cards. Apps like CamCard scan and store business card info digitally, or why not take a few seconds to connect with a contact on LinkedIn? Once you’re connected you can reach out to them at any time.

Do the same for documents that are cluttering up your desk - scan them and store them in the cloud or in a folder on your computer. You’ll feel better having them out of sight.

And then - recycle! Send those papers and business cards off to be turned into something useful. 

Set the challenge

Your printer should be able to track who in the office is printing what, how much and how often. Challenge your colleagues to see who can create the lowest amount of paper waste in a given period.

You may have to apply handicaps for those who genuinely need to print, but if you can come up with a good incentive and make it a game, your office could be saving a huge amount on paper and ink. 

Going digital at the office or in the home requires a fast internet connection. Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.