The term “paperless office” was coined half a century ago and was extensively used by IBM during its early days as a marketing slogan.
The world has changed a whole lot than it was 50 years ago. We’re now in the age of cloud technology – online spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, iPads, and whatnot. We have all the means to go paperless but we still cannot even though most of us don’t really produce any work on paper.
Going completely paperless isn’t same for all the organizations. Possibilities depend on the industry type, organization size, legal necessities etc. Even startups or SMBs with no need for paper will succumb to external forces such as legal requirements, customer needs etc., and use paper. So, when it comes to eliminating paper entirely it’s wise to have realistic goals.
With realistic goals in mind, we’re going to make a list of everyday task businesses process via paper and suggest an app that could eliminate paper from the equation. This way even if you couldn’t go paperless completely you can cut the paper usage yet improve productivity.
Invoice or Sales Receipt
Every business has sales. Naturally, every business has a record of their sales in the form of invoices or sales receipt. You can use a free app like Apptivo Invoices to completely get rid of physical paper invoices.
You can send invoices directly to customers via email. Not just that, your customers can pay for the invoices just by clicking a button on invoices in the email. In a way, it’s more convenient than paper. It’s easier to search for specific invoices, filter them based on date, customers, etc.
Like sales, expenses are part of any businesses. It can be employee traveling expenses, purchase expenses, rent etc. In such cases, you can use an app like Apptivo Expenses and Apptivo Purchase Order apps.
Apptvio Expenses app allows your employees to record their expenses using their mobile they incur during an official trip. They can directly record the expenses just by snapping a picture of the expense receipt and submit them for approval and reimbursement. All you need is their Apptivo Expenses mobile for iOS or Android. It also has a built-in currency exchange tracker, which allows you to input expenses in any currency.
Using Apptivo Purchase Orders app you can record businesses’ expenses for purchasing material from vendors. This helps in avoiding any potential transaction discrepancies. You can also set payment due dates and make sure you never miss the deadline.
Documents & Presentations
This is something that everybody knows!
For sharing files between colleagues and clients, you can use free services like Google Drive and Microsoft’s One Drive. These come with their own built-in online word editor, presentation, and spreadsheet apps.
It also lets you share documents with colleagues so they can view and add comments or directly edit the documents based on the shared settings. This way they can collaborate and work even though they are on the opposite sides of the earth. Talk about productivity!
Encouraging your employees to switch from pen and paper to apps for taking notes is not an easy task. This is really subjective and I can understand why. It’s tough to match the writing speed on paper but that’s only at the beginning. Once they get used to it the results could be overwhelmingly positive.
With these apps, you can take audio and picture notes and not just texts. You can attach any docs to the existing notes and link them for reference. Evernote also has a web clipping function which allows you to save a full web page or part of it to one of your notebooks.
Going paperless overnight isn’t possible. But with better practice and plan one can push for greater digitization to increase your organization’s efficiency and adopting the right tools can go a long way toward to support the cause.