One of the best advantages of technology actually comes from the fact that we now live in a world that helps us be greener, waste less and be more environmentally friendly, and in the process, be more economical. Reducing how much paper we use in the business and personal world has been one of the most important advances of technology, and the fact that we take a lot of the tech that helps us achieve this for granted makes one realize just how far we have come in this regard. Things like email, note taking apps as well as various bits of software and services all help us reduce paper waste.
In this post, we look at some of the ways you can go paperless in both the business and professional world:
Sometimes it is best to go for a professional solution. You pay a little (or a lot) but you almost always get what you pay for. This could be collaboration apps/websites/services such as Google Apps or Office 365, or various other services (such as IDBS, Teamwork and many more) that exist that are almost built on a combined structure between Wikipedia and Facebook, allowing you to communicate and collaborate with team mates as well as put up articles, references, links and all kinds of useful information. By keeping all of a company’s data on one platform means that you always know where to look. Features normally include great facilities to search as well as good timely back ups.
It may sound a bit primitive these days, but emails are actually a great way to save paper. In fact, imagine a world where you are not allowed or can’t email any more. Imagine a world full of writing letters and waiting days to get answers. Imagine a world where you rely on services such as fax machines and messengers to get things across quickly. Sound a bit weird, right? While most of take them for granted, email is probably at the forefront of us going paperless, and definitely deserves a mention here, despite preaching to the converted.
So, how can it help you further? Here are a few tips:
- Try ‘Inbox Zero’ – where the only emails left in your inbox are items that need actions
- Use folders and use them such that you know what needs to be done
- Send yourself emails with useful notes, and file them in a folder which notifies you
- Use all the extra tools email companies package in these days, such as Calendar, Tasks, etc.
Note Taking Apps
This one is probably a simple one, but apps such as Evernote, Google Keep and One Note have been a life saver for me. I use them for everything, be it shopping lists, things to take on holiday, or more serious stuff such as things to remember or as a simple back up service. Some of them have costs associated with them, but there are plenty of free options out there that can be used.
Some note services also allow you to collaborate with your colleagues, so that adds that little bit extra for your work.
Social Media and Messaging Apps
A lot of social media and messaging apps can also be used to help people go paperless. Slack is a prime example of helping people communicate all across the world, but you also have various bots on services such as Twitter which will appear in your notification if you use certain hashtags, such as #noteToSelf. It is all about how you use it, but if used effectively, it can be a rather useful feature too.
I couldn’t do a post on going paperless and not include White Boards. They may be the oldest tech mentioned in this article, but there is something ever so pleasing about using a white board. You can write recipes, lists, notes or doodle on them, and when done, you just wipe it away. Yes, there is cost in the form of markers, but hey, that is small compared to all the A3 and A2 pads that have been used up in offices over the decades.
Do you have any tips and tricks to help go PaperLess? Do let us know!