Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Great Tips, Resources and Ideas for Going Paperless in the New Year

I am a big fan of going paperless whenever possible and technology just keeps making it easier to do. Google is one of the sponsors of the Paperless pledge and has some tips, resources and ideas for going paperless and I have collected a variety of resources and tips. Here they all are.Check them out and check out Paperless2013 and sign up for more tips.

I use my Android smartphone, Nexus 7 tablet, Chromebook and desktop computers, along with apps like Evernote (essential to going paperless), email, online faxing and signing, Google Docs and Drive, Dropbox and Sugarsync and PDF tools, a Boogie Board electronic notepad, a Livescribe Sky Smartpen, and a scanner (Fujitsu Scansnap) to go as paperless as possible. The two articles below have more information too.

My tips and resources:

Paper, we don't need no paper! Tools and tips for going paperless

Tools to go Paperless (in school and at home)

- use flat screen monitors on walls as electronic bulletin boards.
- install solar panels on roof to offset increased electricity use.
- 2 monitors for each PC - can have reference on one screen and working document on other instead of printing reference out (or use tablet)
- Use email, chat, and meeting software and other collaborative software
- all markups done electronically
- auto backup of network every day
- all files on network with offsite, fireproof backup (Dropbox, Sugarsync, own network)
- autosave files every 5 min
- battery and generator backups
- limit print outs to absolutely necessary items
- all files saved in two formats - original (such as Word or PPT) and PDF. PDF is readable by every device and operating system using free apps.
- Read-only terminals in certain areas for visitors and reference look up
- network accessible from home/road for personnel - no data on laptops
- all paperwork from outside is scanned into system - original is filed
- all partners, organizations and vendors are encouraged to use electronic communications - email, website forms, etc.
- Student Information are all searchable and connected and linked with all relevant files
- scan legacy files using OCR into PDF files or scan into Evernote to make searchable
- don't print emails!
- all files distributed as PDF's when possible - readable on any system
- Train your employees on going paperless

From Google:
7 best ways to go paperless.

1) Use cloud storage: One place to create, share and keep all your files
Google Drive: Get started with 5GB free. Try it free

2) Send an online fax: Fax machines waste paper and ink is expensive
HelloFax: Send faxes online, 50 free pages/month. Try it free

3) Manage your bills online: Access statements and organize accounts
Manilla: Avoid paper bills, pay online for free. Try it free

4) Sign documents using an e-signatures: Just as legal and super easy
HelloSign: eSign contracts for free. Try it free

5) Create an online expense report: Don't print out e-receipts
Expensify: Manage all your receipts in cloud for free. Try it free

6) Send online invoices and receive payment online
Xero: Online business accounting, 6 months free. Try it free

7) Scan your existing documents: Get rid of your file cabinets
Fujitsu SnapScan: The world's best document scannner. Check it out

What are your tips, tricks, advice, and resources for going paperless?


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