From paperless bills to electronic signatures, more and more businesses are going paperless. While transitioning from paper to digital can save the environment, it can also be daunting.
But consider the following scenario: If you need quick access to an important document that is stored only in paper format, you often end up wasting valuable time searching through file cabinets, boxes, or piles of paper on someone's desk. When you go paperless, it’s as easy as using the search function to find that same document.
Storing all of your business documents on one digital platform reduces clutter, saves space, and keeps files secure, while also readily accessible to those who need them. Organizing files is easier and you avoid wasting time searching for what you need; your team can operate more efficiently overall.
Changing from paper to digital files may appear overwhelming at first, but it'll be much easier than you think if you follow these four simple steps.
First, figure out where all of your documents are stashed and which ones you want to digitize. Start with one type of document at a time to avoid being overwhelmed, and plan out a schedule for transitioning each group of files.
The most painful part is now out of the way. Phew! Now is the time to begin transferring files to the cloud. Cloud storage solutions bring a greater level of safety and security to your documents, since backups are created by default when you upload your files.
There are many cloud storage options available, including Microsoft Onedrive, Google Drive, and so on. Choose the best option for the types of documents you have, the level of protection you require, whether you plan to share with others, and which devices you use. Find reviews of some of the top cloud storage providers here.
Now start scanning and saving your documents to the cloud. Consider what tools you'll need for this process. You may want to invest in an efficient scanner like ScanSnap, which allows you to scan numerous pages per minute as well as double-sided papers. Or, make use of various apps that allow you to use a mobile phone camera to scan and save to the cloud in one simple step. In this article, you'll find a list of useful apps you might want to check out.
To encourage the adoption of your cloud e-filing system, establish clear goals for yourself, each department and the entire organization. Let them know how much time, energy, and money they are saving.
This is a perfect time to try a digital note-taking tool to keep track of projects and to-do lists. EverNote works quite well for projects like this. We also love using shared Google calendars to add events and tasks; this keeps the whole team aware of deadlines and milestones and ensures that all team members are on the same page with respect to your overarching goals.
You might also considering enlisting the help of one of our administrative virtual assistants (VAs). They are skilled at keeping track of processes, managing projects and assisting teams, making these kinds of transitions easier.
The digital world is continually evolving. It can be a challenge to keep up, but you can start slowly, gradually adopting solutions to help your organization scale up in an efficient way.
Are you thinking of making a paperless transition but lacking the time to take it on yourself? Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to match you with a virtual assistant to do the heavy lifting for you.