Is a Paperless Office Really Possible?
The year was 1984. I was a newly-hired programmer at IBM, listening to a lecture on the future of technology. At the end, someone asked the presenter about the notion of the paperless office. I'll always remember his reply: 'We will sooner see a paperless bathroom than a paperless office.' Almost 30 years later, have we made any progress toward the goal of going paper free?
Going Paperless: Dream or Reality?
I don't remember any other predictions made that day by the technology futurist. I'm sure he didn't have a clue about how the Internet would revolutionize the world, or that handheld smartphones would one day be more powerful than mainframes.
But he did correctly predict that the more we use computers, the more paper we'll use. My desk today is dominated by piles of paper, and an HP printer/fax machine combo that will happily churn out more paper on demand.
So are we any closer to going paperless in our home, home office or the workplace? In some ways, I think we are. If you're over 40, you'll remember passing around humorous pages that had been photocopied or faxed so many times, they were barely readable. One my favorites from the 80's was the classic "System been down long?" cartoon. Now of course, those gems are circulated by email, posted on Facebook walls, or shared on Pinterest.
The ebook revolution has progressed faster than anyone anticipated. Sales of digital ebooks on Amazon.com have outpaced printed books. It's not uncommon to see someone reading the latest thriller on a Kindle, Nook or similar e-reader tablet device.
Almost every large company that does consumer billing now offers you the option to "go paperless" and get your monthly statement by email. This saves the company money, saves trees, and saves you the hassle of filing that paper bill. If you need to find it later, a quick scan of your email folders will bring it up on your screen. Another paper saving convenience is the ability to make payments online, instead of writing a check, stuffing an envelope and mailing it.
Technology: Only Part of the Solution
But what about all that paper that flows in daily from the mailbox, the fax machine, the printer and other sources? Bills, receipts, letters and other printed matter can quickly take over any unoccupied space on your desk or kitchen table. Aside from the clutter, it can be a daunting task to separate the wheat from the chaff, file away the important papers, and then find them again when you need them.
One idea is to use a digital scanner to turn those paper piles into computer files. But simply converting a piece of paper into a digital image file doesn't necessarily help you find it later. In my article Digital Scanners to The Rescue, I discuss some options for scanning important documents into computer readable form, such as searchable PDFs, spreadsheets and word processor files.
Another paper monster that seems to be heading for extinction is the fax machine. It's hard to understand why some businesses stubbornly cling to this obsolete technology. It's slower, more expensive, and less efficient than email. If you're not convinced, see Five Good Reasons to Trash Your Fax Machine, and learn about free online faxing alternatives.
Do You Have Paperitis?
Scanning every piece of paper that comes across your desk is a tedious, boring task. And if you're thinking that sounds like even MORE work than filing away your bills, letters and receipts, you're probably right.
My good friends Audri and Jim Lanford are pioneers and experts on the subject of going paperless. In fact, they even coined the term "Paperitis" to describe the paper clutter and information overload that feels SO overwhelming. The Lanfords built a successful business helping companies like Procter & Gamble and DuPont save millions of dollars going paperless.
But until very recently, there just wasn't a good solution for individuals and small businesses wanting to eliminate paper clutter, conquer information overload and increase their productivity. Because they are so passionate about this topic, Audri and Jim have created a powerful free video series from that shows you exactly how to begin the process of going paperless WITHOUT the grunt work normally associated with getting organized.
Many experts consider their advice and techniques controversial, but after viewing the first video, I think you'll see why their approach is revolutionizing the way entrepreneurs, small businesses and professionals go paperless. Check out The Cure For Paperitis now.
I want to be clear about a few points. First, the Paperitis video series really is no-fluff, no strings and 100% free. Second, when I say that the Lanfords are my good friends, I really mean it. I've known Jim and Audri for over a decade, have met them personally on many occasions, and they are truly some of the original "good guys" of the Internet. Their Scambusters website has been helping people protect themselves from dangerous Internet scams and identity theft since 1994.
Finally, you'll learn a lot from the Paperitis videos, and you'll also be introduced to an excellent training program that's available for purchase. I'm happy to disclose my affiliate relationship, but if I didn't have full confidence in this program and the people behind it, I wouldn't be recommending it to you. I hope you'll check it out and see how much you can benefit by using their ideas.
Have you tried going paperless? Tell me about your experience. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Oct 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Is a Paperless Office Really Possible? (Posted: 12 Oct 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved