We have digital hardware ranging from home computers to portable devices, and software that can handle tasks from daily scheduling to creating PDFs.
What’s more, when you are fully digital you can access your documents from any device and in various locations. You can find digital coupons when you’re at the grocery store, medical records when you’re at the doctor’s office, and even your insurance information during an emergency.
Digital records are cloud compatible, cost effective, portable, and easy to sync across all of your devices. Taking your files from paper to digital improves shareability, searchability, productivity and reduces storage space.
Given all of these great advances in our progress toward paperless living, some people are still lagging behind in their paperless transition.
Have you been putting off making the transition to a paperless way of life?
Let’s see if we can help with that.
Here are my 8 reasons why you should go paperless in 2020.
1- Saves time
Having a paperless home and a paperless office will save you hours of time that would’ve spent sorting, printing, recycling, mailing, and filing papers.
Paperless systems let you quickly scan and then file paper documents digitally, and also create and store digital documents with ease.
With your digital filing system’s search function, you can quickly find any personal or business document you need, instead of spending time digging through piles of paper and file folders.
Digital file keeping can give you immediate access to:
- Medical records
- Family photos
- Insurance information
- Medication lists
- Schedules and calendars
- Banking information
Just to name a few.
2- Increases productivity
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.
The tool of preference for any highly-productive person used to be the day-planner. Today, that domain belongs to mobile devices.
Mobile devices, along with a variety of productivity apps, can give you the edge to stay on top of your day.
What would have taken hours or days using paper, now takes seconds and minutes.
- Creating a presentation or a document the old way involved a trip to the library, and the use of supplies like paper, glue, scissors, and ink. (Does anyone do this anymore?) While apps and programs give you instant access to the resources you need to create documents and presentations in a fraction of the time, plus you can share your information digitally—no paper copies required.
- A paper to-do list has to be written and updated, and it is often misplaced. A digital to-do list automatically updates across all of your apps and calendars, and even sends you reminders of when something needs to be done.
- Scheduling and coordinating by mail, fax, or phone can take precious time that that is quickly saved by using a scheduling app linked to an online calendar.
- Giving assignments and staying up-to-date on large and complicated projects can eat up a manager’s time. With a project management tool, a manager can make assignments and updates in seconds, giving every team member insight into the current state of a project.
3- Ability to work remotely
When you aren’t attached to files and paper you can take your work on the road. Whether you’re travelling, working a side-job, or visiting a job-site, being paperless can increase your productivity and your ability to work effectively.
Being paperless takes remote business collaboration to the next level. Using resources like virtual meetings and shared documents in the cloud, you can work in real-time with a colleague in a different location.
Using a lap-top, smartphone, or mobile device, you can:
- Access invoices, orders, and quotes
- Create on-site audits or proposals
- Communicate with the home office
- Access inventory lists
- Access contact information
- Keep job site progress up-to-date in real time
- Access plans and contracts
- Accept payments
4- Saves money
Going paperless can save money in several ways.
Paperless businesses use less floor space for storage of files, so they can work from more modest locations with lower overhead.
Being paperless also saves on general office supplies, paper, ink, printers, file folders, and even the employee hours that are spent on processing large amounts of paper.
Implementing tablet use into the employee workflow helps businesses save time and money. The productivity gained by paperless employees provides a greater ROI on hours spent performing work-related projects and activities.
Greater organization through paperless systems results in better sales and inventory tracking, and more accurate accounting.
5- Saves space
Eliminating paper at work and home can make a noticeable difference in reduced clutter and extra storage space.
File cabinets, magazine stands, boxes of photos in closets, stuffed drawers, and boxes in storage take up precious space that can be put to better use, or simply cleared out for more peaceful surroundings.
In an office, the average amount of floor space taken up by paper is 15.3%. That extra 15% of floor space could allow a business to downsize their rented space, or add more desks and hire more employees.
Extra room at home means better organization and a space that’s easier to clean.
6- Increased security
Research done by Data Breach Today shows that 23% of major data breaches, and 61% of smaller breaches, involve paper. Paper records can be mislabeled, misplaced, thrown away, stolen, altered, sent to the wrong recipient, or lost in a natural disaster.
When it comes to security, digital records have protections and safety features that paper documents don’t. Electronic documents are easily backed up, encrypted, securely filed and stored, and protected from natural disasters.
7- Reduces clutter
There’s no denying that paper creates unwanted clutter.
File cabinets full of paper, magazines, newspaper, to-do lists, invitations, and all kinds of loose paper have a way of piling up around us. We sit them on a flat surface with the intention of getting to them later, but somehow later never seems to come.
According to Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D., clutter in our surroundings leaves us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed by bombarding our minds with excessive stimuli. Carter says that clutter makes it hard to relax and signals to the brain that our work is never done.
Living in a world of 24-7 stimuli, this extra source of distraction is unwelcome, and it’s easily removed by going paperless.
8- Saves Nonrenewable Resources
Using less paper means we cut down fewer trees, and use less of the chemicals and water that paper making demands. We also produce less pollution from the paper-making process and less paper to overcrowded landfills.
Our electronic devices take energy to be produced and use energy for daily operation. By seeking out and supporting renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, and rejecting energy made from nonrenewable sources, like fossil fuels, we can contribute to a world where we have the energy we need without the negative impact to our environment.
The closer we get to using 100% green renewable energy for our production and usage needs, the more environmentally friendly going paperless will be.
By going paperless, and joining the Paperless Movement, you are joining a group of people who are dedicated to preserving natural resources, and increasing the demand for clean energy production. The more demand there is for clean energy, and the less we use nonrenewable resources, the quicker we’ll see a world where 100% clean energy is the only energy source.
Now that you’ve seen the list of benefits a paperless life has to offer, I hope you’re convinced that 2020 is the year to go paperless.