Do you walk into your office, cubicle or workspace and cringe at the piles of paperwork that just get moved from one side of the desk, room or shelf to the other side? If you answered yes, then take less than five minutes and read on. If you said no, hooray, you have successfully moved on from the “paper age.”
Our society is still truly addicted to paper, whether it is out of fear, worry, trust or stubbornness some of us just cannot let go of the security paper gives us. Paper is not ecologically appropriate any longer nor does it show a visible sign of organizational skills within. You must start with baby steps. Look around and see what you can easily eliminate from tradition or habit. If you own a smart phone, scanner and computer then you have the tools and resources to begin to “cut out” the paper addiction. You can begin by signing up for electronic billing, checking, invoicing and payment options. Use electronic fund transfer, it is quick, easy and usually free of charge. It also avoids late payments for when you are too busy and risk forgetting to write that check to pay that bill.
With business use, paper has long been passed up with CD’s, flash drives, back-up drives, icloud and any other electronic media tool we can utilize besides fumbling through files of paper. You can organize yourself on your computer through drives and folders, labeling each file as if it actually contained the paper document. You can label your folders by project, year, month, day, client, whatever system works for you. Using the search button for your computer is a lot easier than spending hours looking through stacks of folders to find a document you may need.
The key to the organizational process and eliminating paper is to name your files and documents in a manner that you can recognize when trying to retrieve. We can only imagine the eco-changes to our world if we all made a few small steps toward electronic filing versus paper. I have nothing personally against paper, but I do like the idea of saving trees and reducing landfills. Once you go digital, you will never look for another manila folder again.