Easy Ways to Begin the Transition to Paperless Document Management

Wadih Pazos October 1, 2021

Easy Ways to Begin the Transition to Paperless Document Management
Document Management
Blog
The paperless office is rumored to be a far-off dream. Wired contributor Greg Milliken reminisced when the paperless office was just an idea in the 1980’s, but establishing a full and true paperless office is still difficult to achieve in 2014.

How to go paperless

Milliken referenced a Forrester Research report that found 1 billion photocopies are made each day. Milliken also recognized findings from another study, this one conducted by Coopers and Lybrand, which discovered that 4 trillion paper documents are currently in the U.S. and growing at a rate of 22 percent a year.

With all of this to take in, it’s not surprising so many offices have researched options for reducing their consumption of paper by purchasing document management software. PCWorld reported that using technology such as sophisticated scanners to convert paper documents has also become typical in a way to go paperless in an office environment.

PCWorld provided many examples small businesses can use to make going paperless easy. Free programs have allowed anyone capable in aiming toward paperless document management.

The source discussed programs like Box, Dropbox and Google Drive that professionals can use. Paperless faxing through online fax services can send paperless faxes for free instead of using a tedious fax machine in the office. For organizing paperless invoices, invoice automation software is available through various providers.

Electronic signatures have made it easier to make decisions in the workplace. Invoice automation, too, has helped businesses achieve smooth electronic workflow. Adobe Reader has integrated the ability to sign a PDF document with a touchpad, and smartphones have even begun to integrate electronic signatures, according to PCWorld.

The change to a paperless office

Using these strategies helps businesses go paperless, but is the entirely paperless office truly possible?

Milliken wrote that a paperless office is difficult to achieve because of employees’ attachment to hard copy. But the best way for a company to get as close as it can to a paperless office is to move toward “paper-light” instead.

For an office to strive for “paper-light” instead of paperless makes the goal more attainable for employees. This helps them make a slow change instead of transforming entirely to a paperless office instantaneously, where they might feel uncomfortable with the conversion.

The paperless office can be difficult to achieve company-wide, but finding document management software that suits its employees can make the transition easier. With how much paper is being wasted each day in the U.S., making the change to paperless will benefit the environment and office efficiency.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.

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