Easy Ways to Get Your Business to Be Paperless
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Easy Ways to Get Your Business to Be Paperless

I am from the "old school" and like to have some paper but, at the same time, care about the environment and know that we endanger the environment every time we use a piece of paper. My children are much better at being paperless than I am but they have taught me a few lessons that have reduced the amount of paper that I use.

Here are a few tips that I use in my own business and personal life:

1. Phone yourself - I used to write myself notes and then would often lose them or forget that I actually had written them. Now I phone my own voice mail instead. When I am at home and wake up in the night thinking about something that I need to do the following day I will leave myself a message either on voice mail or by sending an email to the office. Then, when I am at the office and think of a personal task that needs to be done, I will leave a message on my home voice mail. This not only saves paper, but brings the issues to the top of mind as answering messages is usually done as soon as I arrive at a location.

2. Develop a good system for filing emails and documents - You do not have to print everything if you know where to find it. Set up Folders in your email and Word accounts. You can even have subfolders to make the system even more sophisticated. The important thing to remember though is that you must have back up systems or you could lose everything. In fact, more than one back up is wisest.

3. Receive invoices and pay them online - Credit cards and investment organizations will usually offer clients an option to have their account statements sent to them electronically. This will not only save paper but also postage. You can respond by paying all the accounts through online banking services and again save paper as well as postage.

4. Communicate as much as possible through email - There are many things that can be transmitted without worrying about breach of confidentiality but you can always set up a password protected system for the things that have very personal information about you or your clients.

Before you print anything, think about what you are doing. Is there something that you could do instead of printing it? Would an email work? What about a telephone call?

Usually going "paperless" starts with paying attention and then planning new ways of doing things.

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