Go Paperless, No Really

In honour of earth day we thought we’d revisit the topic of going paperless. When computers were first entering the business world we were all promised the end of paper as we knew it. However as we all know, paper use is greater now then it has ever been in the past. To see the proof, just walk by the office printer and watch it spew out page after page of precious CO2 consuming trees.

The good news is that inexpensive, easy to use technology exists to finally make a modern paperless office a reality. DigitalFire Inc’s concept of a paperless office is outlined in the diagram below.

There are 3 key components to a paperless office.

  1. A Fax to Email service and an Email to Fax service. One great example of this is www.myfax.com. Incoming faxes are converted to emails and sent to you as attachments without a single sheet of paper. No more junk faxes printing and wasting paper and toner! MyFax.com can also SEND faxes. Simply attach the fax you would like to send, include the fax number and send via email to a special email address they give you. Voila! Your email turns to a fax. The extra benefit is that all staff can send a fax from their computer without having to leave their desk.
  2. A High Speed Scanner. It used to be that scanning took in the neighbourhood of 1 minute per page. At that pace no wonder the paperless office never took off. These days for about $350 a high speed scanner can scan at 30 pages per minute. And convert everything to PDF in seconds. All your files can be organized and stored on your server. All staff can have access to the files simultaneously. Other benefits include that you’ll be able to SEARCH inside the files – no more looking for that sheet of paper. When you add that you’ll be able to login remotely and see the files you need, scanning has real benefits. Imagine you’re on a business trip and forgot the file in the office. Disaster with paper, but minor inconvenience if the files were scanned and are waiting for you on the office server.
  3. Making PDFs. Portable Document Format can be read by any computer anywhere on any platform. Make PDFs from any program with www.cutepdf.com. Then simply email the documents you were going to fax or mail. These days even old school types like insurance companies and banks will let you email the information to them as long as it has a signature. TIP: Scan your signature and then use it in Word Documents when you need to sign something. Then make a PDF and no one can tell you didn’t print the letter and then scan it again!

The take home message is that the paperless office is more achievable now in 2009 then ever before. With a few changes of habits, just image how many trees your office can save. For more information or help with this implementation, call DigitalFire Inc. at 905-845-5959 and ask for Leslie at extension 11.

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