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Nothing beats the feeling of having everything you need with you wherever you go. From having files at your fingertips to organizing your life, going paperless can streamline your lifestyle by digitizing your life’s most important docs.
Choosing a paperless home or office increases productivity, security, and frees up a ton of extra space. What freelancer or family member wouldn’t benefit from some much-needed extra room?
If you’re ready to give your life the upgrade it deserves, find out how you can do it immediately, and in many cases, do it for free.
Going paperless in 2020 has never been easier than with this easy-to-navigate guide.
Getting Ready to Go Paperless
If you’re tired of never having your documents available when you need them and are fed up with your lack of personal space, going paperless can improve your lifestyle both at home and at the office.
Paperless lifestyles offer organization, savings, and top-of-the-line solutions that ensure security, accessibility, and functionality for all of your digital files.
By going paperless, you won’t just lessen your environmental footprint, but you’ll also make a big impact on your business’ performance and your home’s efficiency.
Who uses paper in 2020 anyway?
What Does It Mean to Go Paperless at Home?
So, what exactly is paperless? It’s exactly what you think it is. It’s the elimination of paper products from your home and office.
Going paperless doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be accomplished super easily and is guaranteed to enhance your life.
Raise your hand if you could use a clutter-free zone!
You can go paperless around the house by starting with these simple changes:
- Using digital banking
- Moving all of your bills and contracts online
- Digitizing your filing cabinets and document storage areas
- Ditching notepads and journals for digital devices
- Choosing ebooks over their hard copy predecessors
What Does It Mean to Go Paperless at the Office?
Whether you’re a freelancer, solopreneur, tech guru, or marketing pro, you know how hard it is to free up some extra time when you’re the boss.
Digitizing your business can save you hours every week so you can spend your extra time on the things you’d rather be doing. From taxes to contracts, your brand will always be a click away regardless of where your day takes you.
It doesn’t matter if you work from home, are on the road, or maintain a traditional office space; wherever you’re located, you’ll have your digital office locked, loaded, and ready to access from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.
Imagine the freedom!
Paperless offices operate the exact same way as your home. They use online banking, digital communications, and paper-free contracts to get them through the day.
With more emphasis on document management systems, professional paperless environments manage everything from customer contracts to employee schedules.
Try tackling these few changes to start eliminating paper in your office environment:
- Get your A/R and A/P to send and receive invoices digitally
- Create and sign contracts digitally
- Use digital platforms for all internal communications
- Create a digital workspace for all of your employees where they can access your company’s most important manuals
- Use a digital payroll system to send out everything from pay stubs to tax docs
- Use a digital attendance system instead of paper-copy sign-in forms
What Are the Benefits of Going Paperless?
Going paperless lets you live your life and run your business on your terms. From family schedules to office files, paperless lifestyles mean running your life from the palm of your hand.
Say goodbye to archaic filing and bulky storage systems. With your customized paperless environment, your files will be stored in a way that makes sense to you.
But what about security?
Do you really think that the old lock on your filing cabinet is safeguarding your most important documents effectively?
Going paperless not only lets you track user access instantly but also keeps your files backed up in case your office falls victim to a catastrophe.
Whether you’re tracking changes to monitoring logins, your documents can be monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Peace of mind is priceless, which is why digital document management just makes sense. From housing your financial documents to storing your family’s most important photos, you’ll be the master of the house and your business 24-hours a day.
What Are the Challenges of Going Paperless?
Breaking the paper habit comes with a few hurdles. Office memos, household to-do lists, and those random post-it notes strewn around your home or office can really put a kink in your chain.
Embrace the paperless lifestyle by:
- Eliminating paper products near phones in your home and around the office
- Purposefully omitting paper accessories like notepads and post-it notes from your office supply purchase list
- Setting up apps for your to-do lists, calendars, and messages before you ditch the paper altogether.
Lots of businesses and households want to go paperless but just can’t seem to find the time to do it or know where to start.
Luckily for you, there’s a ton of professionals out there who specialize in virtualizing your home and office. From seamless office integration to hassle-free household digitization, professional assistance can help you put your best foot forward.
If you’re really concerned about the transfer to paperless, professionals can be really helpful, but the truth is, you can totally do it yourself.
The majority of entrepreneurs, small business operators, and busy households out there have all made the change with just a few simple apps and a plan.
What Is the Paperless System Made Of?
Whether you’re tackling the workplace or your household, the paperless system is incredibly easy to navigate and is made up of five essential elements:
- Project Management
- eSignature Tools
- Digital Backup
Seriously, that’s all that going paperless requires!
Keep reading for my tips and tricks for implementing the paperless process on your own. Each stage includes some terrific apps and equipment that will make your paperless transformation an easy-to-accomplish personal project.
Paperless storage is where you’ll store all of your digital documents, and a paperless filing system dictates how you’ll store and save those files.
Paperless storage systems are almost always cloud-based, which means you’ll be able to access them from anywhere with an internet connection. They’re optimized for mobile devices and can help you organize your life with a click of a button.
Many cloud-based platforms offer free limited storage-space to users and then charge you as your space requirements increase. If you don’t need a lot of storage, you might be able to get away with digitizing and storing your documents at no cost to you.
Whatever your needs, eliminating your paper-trail by taking it online can simplify your life and free up tons of extra space.
Paperless Filing for Home
Transforming your home into a paperless environment can benefit your lifestyle and your property, and it feels soooooo good!
From tackling your taxes to freeing up much-needed space around the house, paperless systems can easily organize your life and make scheduling a snap.
You can even integrate your paperless lifestyle with your business schedule or home automation. Talk about simplicity!
Create a digital filing system for your home that addresses each unique aspect of your life.
From budgets and calendars to photos and medical documents, you should create an easy-to-navigate filing system that makes sense for your lifestyle and organizational requirements.
Sounds easy, right? That’s because it really is.
With these digital storage options, you’ll have everything at your fingertips wherever you go.
I love pCloud for home filing and paperless document storage. While it has a vibrant business backend, I really adored it because of its family plan and because it easily integrated with my home office.
Built for paperless lifestyles, the pCloud family plan allows all designated users access to the shared drive, and it even provides the subscriber with 2 TB of storage for their entire lifetime.
Yup! The family plan gives you lifetime access!
The storage is completely shareable amongst users, and only has a one-time cost of $500. A lifetime of paperless productivity and storage for $500 is a truly stellar deal.
It also includes lifetime access to its premium features such as security, file backups, and file management software, which means your files are completely protected.
From managing your kids’ afterschool activities to budgeting for their college experience, you’ll have everything at your fingertips and won’t have to worry about a monthly bill or charge again.
Pro Tip: Make sure you backup your items with an external hard drive like the ones mentioned in stage five in case one of your family members accidentally deletes an important file.
Dropbox is everywhere, and it’s one of the originators of cloud-based storage. It’s a terrific program for novice users and basic households and is super user-friendly.
While you’ve likely used Dropbox for business a million times in your life, I can’t help but promote it for a home paperless system because of its straightforward and simple layout.
Users can use a free account with storage limitations or sign up for larger additional cloud space. Files can be shared via a private link, downloaded, or even sent wirelessly to printers and fax machines. It’s wireless capabilities just make life so much simpler.
Dropbox integrates easily with email, SMS, iOS, and Android operating systems. This means saving photos, documents, contracts, and information can be done from your phone, tablet, or computer.
If you’re considering going paperless, definitely make sure you test out Dropbox before you commit to another system.
Pro Tip: Download the app on all of your devices so you can instantly save files directly to Dropbox without needing to transfer them later on.
Paperless Filing for Office
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Give your employees the best tools to increase their performance and your profits.
When you’re going paperless, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a simple system that does more than just store documents.
From collaboration to client communication, cloud-based storage services that offer more robust additions such as document creation, email, and calendar schedules are the perfect way to accent your office’s paperless endeavors.
Track document changes or manage your freelance clients from anywhere in the world by using apps and software that go beyond storage and facilitate your virtual office requirements.
It’s free, it’s effective, and it works across all platforms. From creating type-based documents to spreadsheets and presentations, Google Suite does everything Microsoft Office does, but it’s cloud-based and free.
You’ll be able to share links to private documents, create hierarchy accesses for different users, and even export docs into common file types.
Yes, this program lets you easily convert .docx files into .pdfs for zero-charge, which is huge in my book.
Whatever your business, Google Suite offers an instant solution for in-office and on-the-go needs. It even includes complimentary dictation capabilities for your note-taking. It’s the constant companion that makes sense for digital work environments.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs will love this because it lets you easily shift between storage, scheduling, file sharing, and document creation. From tablets to phones, its suite of products can be accessed, created, and utilized on almost all digital devices.
Need something more robust for your larger team or department? Google offers a more dynamic suite of products for commercial endeavors.
Developed specifically for business needs, G Suite adds productivity and integration solutions into its platforms and takes over where standard Google Suite leaves off.
From managing your business’ mobile devices to enhanced security features and user analytics, G Suite for Enterprise champions paperless workplaces.
Pro Tip: Upload your most important hard copy documents immediately to the drive when you start to go paperless. Likewise, you should routinely export and backup your cloud-based doc creations to ensure you always have a master copy available in case of an emergency.
I really like Notion for Enterprise. While it’s available in a variety of different forms, its enterprise platform is simply top-notch and goes way beyond simple cloud-based storage needs.
Notion makes going paperless easy and instantly effective. Used by some of the largest companies in the world, this app is home to worldwide brand leaders such as IBM and McDonald’s.
Notion is all about internal team and brand building. With a major focus on internal messaging and accountable PR, one of its top three advertised features is transparency.
This app is unique as it incorporates branding, marketing, and PR initiatives directly into its framework.
This all-in-one tool allows for file sharing, storage, CRM builds, and productivity monitoring. Think of it as your all-in-one, completely customizable digital workspace.
If you’re considering going paperless but don’t want to develop your own proprietary digital backend, Notion has everything you could possibly need to optimize performance and get the job done effectively.
Pro Tip: If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur who works with marketing, advertising, or PR, then you need to demo this product. Not only is it the perfect product for large-scale storage needs, but it makes branding easy once you’ve established your criteria.
Getting rid of your hardcopy paper files might just be the most difficult part of the paperless process. While it’s easy to do, it can take a lot of time depending on how many paper files you need to scan.
From on-the-go scanning apps to physical scanning equipment, digitizing your life’s most important files can be relatively painless if you use the right programs and hardware.
You’ll want to consider wireless scanning, automatic feed, and double-sided scanning systems to make sure this stage runs smoothly.
Invest in comprehensive scanning solutions that can do it all so you can tackle everything from your family photos to your legal-size documents.
I’ve identified my top scanning picks for both home and office scanning to help you get your home paperless faster.
Scanning for Home: App
From family photos to your last seven years of taxes, your household needs a quick and efficient digitizing strategy to get your home online as quickly as possible.
Make a list of your most important hard copy documents before you settle on a scanning software to ensure that you’re maximizing your productivity and reducing any unnecessary steps.
CamScanner is a great addition to busy households. Perfect for scanning report cards, medical info, tax documents, and bills, CamScanner can save households time and money by fostering a paper-free environment.
CamScanner provides the same quality scans as traditional office scanners. This means you’ll be saving space and cash by avoiding the purchase of physical scanning equipment.
Since CamScanner works on mobile devices, you’ll be able to digitize your most important documents wherever you go. It truly puts the power of a standard scanner into the palm of your hands.
Whether you’re at your accountant or traveling on vacation, you’ll have perfect copies of your most vital documents on hand in just one-click.
Pro Tip: Set up CamScanner to automatically scan to your cloud-based storage system so you won’t have to manually transfer the files later.
Scanning for Home: Equipment
Scanning your documents is the perfect way to eliminate paper waste storage from home while simultaneously creating a paper-free digital platform for future use.
Whether you’re looking for instant access wherever you go or simply want to do your part for the environment, getting your documents digitized is fundamental to your household’s paperless process.
When you’ve got a ton of files to scan, a scanning app isn’t going to cut it. Cut down on time and maximize your scanning quality by investing in a quality scanner.
Sometimes you just need a physical scanner to get your paperless system started. When a scanning app isn’t cutting it, try the Fujitsu ScanSnap to tackle larger home or small business projects.
When you’re embarking on your paperless journey, one of the biggest obstacles you’ll face is finding a scanner that meets your needs.
If you’re not hiring anyone to digitize your docs, you’ll need a scanner that scans multiple pages into one file, scans double-sided documents, and scans them so they can be indexed and searched.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 does all of this. With an automatic scanning feeder, it totally cuts down on time and manual labor.
This scanner can scan and send via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and it can save to multiple drives and locations. It easily integrates with popular platforms like Google and can scan in different modes to manage file size and document quality.
This is the perfect solution for homes, home offices, and small businesses. With a tag and search feature, individuals can create optimized digital document management systems without needing to hire professionals.
Priced under $400, this scanner is the perfect addition to any family.
Scanning for Office: Apps
Finding a scanning app that works for your business means finding one that works with your business type.
From OCR recognition to budget-friendly buys, you’ll need to find an app that does everything from scanning multi-page documents to producing high-quality copies.
Adobe Scan tops my list as the best scanning app for home or office use.
Easy to use, its straightforward layout and simple design make scanning documents quick and hassle-free.
Whether you’re new to the world of scanning, or a tech guru, you’ll appreciate its robust platform and awesome integration into other Adobe products. It’s free to use, with optional upgrades available for purchase.
That means easy savings and immediate office automation.
If you operate a home-based business, this app is perfect for household needs and home-office requirements.
Going paperless used to mean spending big bucks investing in costly equipment and software. This app easily saves in a .pdf format and ensures its scans are viewable on a variety of platforms.
Since Adobe Scan works with its other suite of products, you’ll be able to sign and edit .pdfs on the go or even from a traditional desktop.
Pro Tip: If your business does anything media-related or requires the use of other Adobe products, this is absolutely your best-buy due to its seamless integration.
Created for business use, Dropbox Business makes going paperless easy to accomplish, even in a busy workplace. Working on a cloud-based platform, your scans will be with you wherever you go.
It’s unique features allow for the scanning of multiple pages. This feature is terrific for businesses that are constantly using long contracts in day-to-day operations. Even law firms, real estate agencies, and medical professionals can quickly digitize documents with it.
All Dropbox Business scans are retained in the cloud in each user’s Dropbox account. For ultimate security and peace of mind, professionals can upgrade their accounts to include a file recovery option.
Integrating seamlessly with all major operating systems, such as Android and iOS, documents can be scanned from a variety of different devices and saved directly to cloud-based storage systems.
For professionals who are consistently away from the office, its mobile application makes filing, drafting, and editing docs possible anywhere.
Pro Tip: Use DropBox and your dominant storage system if you plan on using the scanner frequently. It will cut down on the manual labor of refiling and transferring the files to other systems down the road.
Scanning for Office: Equipment
While you may not require nearly as much scanning once you go paperless, you’ll still want to have scanning capabilities incorporated into your paperless strategy.
Whether you need to digitize manuals or upload your receipts, having strong scanning equipment in your office will ensure you’re making it easy to maintain your paperless strategy.
If you’re going to digitize your hard copy files yourself or will require large-scale scanning in the future, this compact scanner includes all of the bells and whistles of a traditional, commercial scanner but at a fraction of the price.
With multi-sided scanning capabilities, sharing, and collaboration to popular storage programs like Dropbox, and scan-to-email functions, this piece of equipment is sure to assist your paperless efforts affordably.
At only $230, this product gives commercial grade products a run for their money. Boasting automatic feed and scanning as well as OCR recognition, this model ticks all the boxes for an office must-have.
While it might be a niche product, I wanted to include it in my paperless scanning suggestions. Since not all businesses are created equal, this product serves a fantastic function for equipment-heavy industries.
This professional document scanner is equipped with laser technology to automatically scan books, manuals, and documents that are bound on their spine. The technology flattens pages so scans come out crisp and even.
If you’re a business that is chock-full of product manuals, safety procedures, operating instructions, and programming requirements, this is a must-buy.
Complete with lighting, OCR recognition, software, and document conversion, this product can scan an entire 300-page book in just under 10 minutes.
When you’re ready to automate your business, start your paperless transition by scanning your company’s most important guides, manuals, and instruction booklets with this fantastic piece of equipment.
At just $425, this unique unit is the perfect inclusion into any workplace.
3. Project Management
From your notorious honey-do list to full-scale renovation projects, combating your busy lifestyle can take a village whether you’re at home or in the office.
Whether you’re planning for the future, flipping your house, digitizing your business, or tracking your finances, these products provide simple solutions to your large-scale organization issues.
Project Management at Home
Taking your life online has its perks. By digitizing your most important documents, paperless household systems ensure your files are never at risk of being lost or misplaced.
Imagine being able to find your water heater warranty when you need it. Or consider how easy filing your taxes will be with all of your financial documents at your fingertips?
From to-do lists and calendars to accessing your documents from anywhere in the world, digitizing your life won’t just free up space, it’ll also free up hours of personal time.
You’ll be able to schedule activities, track budgets, get reminders for important events, and even keep your bills and financial papers all in one place.
Increase your productivity and enhance your peace of mind with platinum project management solutions.
Notion offers a variety of services based on industry, demographic, and user. From commercial needs to personal paperless strategies, Notion’s robust framework provides the perfect backend to organize your life.
Its personal-use suite of services incorporates digital document storage, organization, and automation into one easy-to-use service.
Cloud-based, this app is accessible across digital devices and desktops and includes to-do list creation, productivity tools, and dozens of other amazing integrations.
If you can dream it, Notion can do it, and all for a low monthly price that starts at just $5 for its personal pro subscription.
Project Management at the Office
Organize your professional life easily with digital products that are specifically designed to keep your business on-track.
From creating to-do lists to tracking the performance and progress of your most important projects, the right project management software can save you from sleepless nights and expensive labor.
Asana has quickly become a household name in offices around the world. It includes a suite of marketing tools and truly remarkable productivity components.
User-friendly and easy to learn, it boasts specialty functions that address everything from time management and deadlines to brand reputation management and reviews.
Perfect for small to midsize businesses, Asana puts everything your office needs in one accessible place.
This program was meant for service-driven business types. Whether you’re a hotel or a landscaping company, its marketing and reputation integrations make connecting with customers while promoting paperless a rewarding experience.
4. Electronic Signature Tools
Electronic documents are becoming increasingly popular due to their immediacy and accessibility.
By cutting down on time and transportation, electronic signature tools can enhance both your personal lifestyle and professional efforts.
From creating contracts to filing executed agreements, these apps will help you sign, seal, and close any deal regardless of where you are while boosting your paperless plan.
Electronic Signature Tools for Home
Transforming your office into a paperless environment will change your life, and signing documents on-the-go will save you the time, money, and stress of document deadlines.
From forgotten field-trip forms to closing on your house deal, eSignature tools are the ultimate way to tackle your day without ever having to leave your home.
I like Formstack Sign because of its straightforward and simple approach to electronic documents. It lets you sign documents with ease or make an annotation, directly from your electronic device.
Built for business, we like it for home use because of its amazing templates and easy-to-customize documents. As a bonus, Formstack Sign includes cloud-based storage for contracts as well as enhanced security features.
This app lets you create your own proposals and docs. From PTA meeting minutes to fundraiser forms, the sky’s the limit when it comes to professional-looking personal documents.
If you’re an entrepreneur or work from home, Formstack Sign can easily tackle your personal paperless system as well as your small business strategy effectively.
With a low monthly price point and easy integration, this app optimizes your private life professionally.
Electronic Signature Tools at the Office
Paperless documents are terrific for complimenting time management techniques and closing deals quickly. Instantly get your documents signed without having to leave the office or schedule a face-to-face with clients.
Streamline your business and services with user-friendly electronic document software and eSignature apps that support your paperless office system.
Used the world over, DocuSign has gained notoriety in finance, real estate, and legal professions.
It’s free to use, which makes getting customers to sign contracts and proposals a whole lot easier.
With a quick download time and a robust backend, DocuSign provides clients with an easy-to-use layout while providing business owners with a customizable experience.
It’s fully encrypted document transfer gives business owners peace of mind while letting users feel safe with the knowledge that they’re signing securely.
PandaDoc really stands out as a must-have for paperless office environments because it goes above and beyond traditional eSignature software.
Each document type fully supports multimedia integration and allows each document owner to customize their document from font to photo. It supports sound and video so you can embed your most important files and elements directly in the document.
PandaDoc is perfect for proposals or RFPs and truly bolsters the future of paperless systems by integrating additional branding elements into its mix. Its customization options are what truly make this the standout choice for electronic document signing and creation.
If you’re looking to build your brand, PandaDoc is a must-have.
5. Digital Backup
Don’t get caught in the aftermath of a major data loss. Make sure you’re protecting your personal documents the same way you would protect your home and create a backup plan in case of loss.
When you’re going paperless, keep your data digital and backed up by investing in an inexpensive external storage solution.
Combat the urge to hit the print button on your most important docs and keep your backups digital instead.
Digital Backup at Home
Purchasing a digital external hard drive to create a backup of your files is the ultimate paperless safety plan solution.
Cost-effective and incredibly fast, backing up your files is easy and can be accomplished in as little as a few or five minutes. Just plug in your hard drive and copy and paste your main files and folders onto your hard drive’s folder; the software will take care of the rest.
From photos to finances, these external drives have a ton of space to house your recovery files.
Boasting 1 TB of space, and more than 20,000 user reviews, this drive provides everything you’ll need for a professional document backup at a budget-friendly price.
Since this unit is completely portable and incredibly lightweight, you’ll be able to take it anywhere. Coming in at just $50, this unit comes with a two-year extended warranty, which is great for your peace of mind.
With 3.0 USB connectivity, you’ll be thrilled by how quickly this device backs up your data. From its reviews to its compact size, this product exceeds expectations and cannot be beaten in terms of price.
Digital Backup at the Office
You won’t want to risk losing your businesses’ most sensitive and important documents when you go paperless, which is why you’ll need to invest in a reliable backup solution for your cloud-based files.
Skip the storing, filing, and costs associated with paper duplication. These affordable backup solutions can keep your business docs digital by providing a safe and secure backup system for them.
When you need to back up your valuable office files and need the most space possible on a portable external hard drive, you’ll love the efficacy of Western Digital’s My Passport portable drive.
This tiny unit has major space and can be easily transported on business trips. Easy to store, it has a durable design and is password protected. It even comes with its own software for file management and security.
With a three-year extended warranty, you won’t be able to afford not to purchase this product. Compatible with the newest operating systems, this popular unit has a top-notch rating and costs just $150.
Whether you’re using it for personal use or for professional needs, this product is perfect for backing up files on the go.
If you’re traveling for work, working on a job site, or are constantly out and about, this hard drive boasts added protection to combat harsh environments and transportation issues.
With a shock-free case, the Lacie Rugged Hard Drive is rain resistant and built to sustain damage from falls and pressure.
At just $160, this unit includes 4 TB of space and works on both PC and Mac platforms. It includes a two-year warranty and complimentary trial access to Adobe Creative Cloud products.
Don’t let your schedule stand in the way of security and performance. Lacie’s portable drive is perfect for on-the-fly backups and access.
Living in a Paperless Environment: Map to Success
It may feel like foreign territory at first, but now that you know what it entails, initiating and using a paperless system in your day-to-day life can be implemented easily and instantly increase your productivity and personal successes.
Whether you’re using the system in your personal life or are instituting a company-wide paperless strategy, optimizing your life begins with a plan.
Steps for Implementing a Paperless Environment: Planning Stages
When you’re creating your paperless plan, you’ll want to outline the things that are most important to you.
Here are some things to consider when you’re creating your plan:
- Figure out what you want it to do! Identify what’s most important to you by creating a spreadsheet.
Identify things like contracts, scheduling, office communication, and document signing.
Include anything your home or office uses to stay organized and operational.
- Find your apps and equipment. Beside each item on your spreadsheet, include some options you think might best facilitate your needs.
- Try-out your options. Download trial versions of your fave apps and see how they work.
Try importing, exporting, saving, filing, sharing, and collaborating to make sure they function the way you need them to.
- Make a password list once you’ve settled on your chosen apps. Include the user names and logins for all of your products. Since they’re all new, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have any problems accessing them.
Steps for Implementing a Paperless Environment: Creation Phase
Once you’ve decided what your system will do and who will be responsible for creating it, you’ll need to get your offline documents ready for digitizing.
- Get all your ‘docs’ in a row.
- Set out a digitization schedule.
- Figure out who needs access and get all their info.
- Format your backend.
- Take it for a test drive.
Steps for Implementing a Paperless Environment: The Test Drive
Once your system has been built and your documents have been digitized and loaded, you’ll begin your testing phase.
- Test out the apps you’ve chosen with your digitized files.
- Interact with your most important stakeholders on a variety of different devices to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
- Get all users to try it out for themselves on their personal devices.
- Backup your digital documents to an external hard drive.
- Start ditching the paper … may I suggest investing in a shredder?
Once you’ve gone paperless and taken your system live, you’ll want to make sure that you:
- Perform strategic audits to ensure that users are updating and utilizing the system effectively and as intended.
- Schedule routine preventative maintenance to ensure proper updates, security issues, legal requirements, and issues are being identified and corrected.
- Backup your database routinely.
- Ensure your equipment is kept in good repair.
Just remember, going paperless is a challenge, but staying paperless is a skill.
Are you ready to take back your lifestyle by freeing up space and organizing both your home and office? Take my Seven-Day Challenge to start the going-paperless process immediately.
The Seven-Day Challenge
Get ready, get set… go paperless!
Day 1: Sign up for Digital Banking
- Take an hour to sign yourself up for digital banking and make the change to online billing through any of your service providers.
- Switch over phone bills, credit card statements, and anything else that you’d normally view in paper form.
- To make sure you don’t miss anything, go through your mail and records ahead of time and make a list of any company you can digitally pay, communicate with, or receive statements through.
For account-heavy businesses, stick to the fundamentals and focus on things like utility companies, internet providers, and equipment leases.
Day 2: Try 0ut a Cloud-Based App
- Download an app like Dropbox or Google Drive to your mobile device.
- Practice taking a photo and saving it to the drive, or copying and pasting existing files into it.
- Try renaming a file, sharing it with yourself, and inserting it as an email attachment.
Really try to get a feel for how the app works by becoming familiar with its layout and programming.
Day 3: Download a Scanning App to Your Phone or Mobile Device
- Test out what you’ve learned by downloading a scanning app of your choice!
- Make sure you don’t pay for anything; just enroll in a free trial or use a completely free program.
- Practice using your mobile device to digitally scan receipts, letter-size documents, legal documents, and multi-page documents. Also, try scanning multiple images into one file.
- Save your files to the digital storage app you chose on day one to increase your familiarity with both programs and to get a feel for how they interact with one another.
Day 4: Get eSigning
- Try out a free electronic signature software that lets you sign a document as well as create one.
- Be creative with your contracts and attempt to implement various customizations using provided templates.
- Create, upload, and save your digital signature so you can use it to sign documents.
- Send a test document to yourself. Fill it out, sign it, and send it back.
- Once you’ve received it, save a copy to your digital drive from day one.
Day 5: Get Collaborating
- Use an online program like Google Drive to create a document
- Create a word-based document in Google Docs. Export it to a .pdf and save it to your cloud-based drive from day-one.
- Create a simple spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Download it and save it to your cloud-based drive.
- Upload a document to Google Drive. Make a copy and rename it.
Day 6: Start Scheduling
- Test your organization capabilities by downloading a trial version of Notion or Asana.
- Use its features to make a sample to-do list for your home or office.
- Try out scheduling the tasks and checking off your sample items when they’re completed.
- Also, try integrating your calendar with the to-do list function.
- Practice scheduling alarms, changing dates and times, and making notes on your list.
- And also practice adding others to your scheduled tasks and inviting them to participate in sample calendar activities.
Day 7: Start Your Plan
- Start working on your paperless plan according to the steps set out in this blog.
- Create your spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
- Make a list where all of your primary hardcopy paper products are in Google Docs or Google Drive.
- Create a to-do list in a program of your choice identifying what steps you need to take.
- Schedule your steps by creating a calendar in your program of choice.
- Shop online for an external hard drive to back up your files.
- If you need a physical scanner shop around for that as well.
Now that you’ve tried out your skills over a period of a week and learned what it’s like to use all of the most important tools, it’s time to to put your plan into action.
Commit to the apps you’re going to use and erase the ones you won’t. Don’t forget to unsubscribe to any free trials or update your billing for the ones you’re going to keep.
Install the apps on all of your pertinent mobile devices and computers to ensure they’re integrated, functional, and ready to go.
Make sure you tackle small pieces of a project at a time and always finish a project piece before you start a new one.
With these simple steps, practice challenges, and powerful apps you’re sure to be living your best paper-free life promptly.
Dominate Digital With Paperless Prowess
Going paperless will increase your lifestyle by affording you more personal time, improving your communication, and enhancing your life’s effectiveness.
Choosing to go paperless is a gamechanger. From saving you cash to increasing your businesses’ productivity, digitizing your life will keep you up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends.
Whether you’re focusing on customer service, integrating your business and home life, or optimizing your household’s activities, taking your life online now is what the future’s all about. When you’re looking to make a major change in your home or at the office, dominate your project with the power of paperless. Charter your future’s course today by transforming your world’s most important facets with paperless prowess.