If you’re ready to begin purging your piles of paper, you need somewhere digital for those documents to go, and some way to operate your business without accumulating more paper. To help you in your pursuit of a paperless office, we’ve put together what the best tools are for going paperless.
You need somewhere to store your paper documents after you scan them, that’s where a service like Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox comes in. By using a cloud storage service, not only is your information secure, but it is also easy for the rest of your team to access, and you can collaborate together on a document in real time, working on it simultaneously.
By using a tool like Xero, you can simplify your accounting and handle it all without paper. With Xero you store and send invoices, create purchase orders, create financial reports, and other critical accounting tasks without the need to print off any documents.
A good mailing app is critical to going paperless. By using Gmail, Outlook, or another reliable email service, you can simplify your email workflow. With most mail apps, you can also set up filters to automate your email management, so that emails coming in that match a criteria can be forwarded, put into a folder, highlighted, deleted, or processed in other ways.
If your company uses paper forms, a good data collection like Locale Central is important to going paperless. Locale Central has a mobile and web app, allowing your team to record data on-site or in the office. When looking at data collection apps, consider the features you need to turn your paper forms digital, you can create an account with Locale Central for free.
By using a shared knowledge base like Notion you can share and collaborate on company knowledge together, providing an easy reference to any important instructions or information. Notion can also store other information too, like your meeting minutes, project status, tasks, and more.
To tie all your paperless apps together, an automation service like Zapier will help your apps talk to each other automatically, saving you time. You can set a “trigger”, like receiving an email in Gmail, then perform an “action”, such as uploading the attachments to Google Drive. By setting up these triggers and actions, Zapier can handle processes for you in the background automatically.
Signing documents is probably one of the more significant reasons why some companies haven’t ditched their printer yet, but with electronic signatures being binding in most countries, an electronic signature app like Adobe Acrobat or HelloSign simplifies the process of signing legally binding documents all without printing or scanning.