Be Green, Save Green; Go Paperless for Cheap!
So many of my clients have issues with too much paper in their homes and offices and would like to go paperless and be “green”, but they aren’t sure where to start and don’t want to spend a lot.
So here are some cheap and easy tips, with special thanks to Chris Nichols, owner of the Nichols Law Firm, who provided much content for this article. Chris consults with Attorneys interested in going paperless, so please contact him for an appointment if you’re interested or check out his blog.
- Scan it.
- For do-it-yourselfers, Chris recommends the Xerox Documate and PaperPort software that comes with it. They allow for bulk scanning of multiple documents by inserting a blank sheet of paper in between them. Chris recommends that before puchasing equipment, decide how much scanning you'll be doing, then consider the document feeder capacity, speed, and the ease of use of the software that comes with it. He also recommends scanning at 200 dpi for faster scanning. His other tip is to purchase a 2nd monitor; one for the active work you're doing, and a second for document scanning.
- Don't have time to scan it yourself? Shoeboxed.com will do it for you -- everything from documents, to receipts, to business cards and will even pre-categorize receipts for you so you can immediately run reports to see where your money is going. Get 2 months free if you sign up for 1 year of service!
- Rely on software.
- OpenOffice.org has everything Microsoft Office has and then some, and it’s FREE! Instead of writing everything on paper that will get lost, use your computer and software to get more done.
- Zoho.com is another free place to get email, spreadsheets, databases, etc. for free.
- Cnet.com also has a lot of free software you can download that makes life easier.
- Voice to Text & Virtual Assistants. By recording your notes to your computer instead of writing it on paper, you’ll never lose papers and you’ll never drown in piles. Inexpensively turn your computer into a dictaphone and save as a computer file with:
Or use a Virtual Assistant software which will covert your voicemails into emails:
- jott.com costs only $3.95/mo and you can call your voicemail number, leave a message, and Jott will convert it to a text message or email. They also have iPhone & Outlook apps to get your messages on the go.
- Use Smart Phones. Having a phone with the ability to access your calendar, surf the web, send and receive email, and have GPS directions is a great way to eliminate a plethera of other papers/notebooks, etc.