Getting Your Employees to Go Paperless

Starting the paperless momentum has four primary advantages to an organization; it will improve knowledge and data management, it will increase data efficiencies; it will improve worker productivity and prepare the organization for the remote and mobile workforce environment.

The following are recommendations to reduce paper used by individual employees;

  1. Reduce Desktop Printerpaper helps: Employees who print electronic data create their own paper pile up. The easier and more convenient it is to print documents, the more likely it is that paper use will increase. One way to reduce paper use is to reduce individual and desktop printers. By making printing less convenient, employees begin to be more mindful before printing their data.
  2. Improve User Skills on Managing Electronic Data: If users understand how to organize, file and manage data electronically well, then they will feel more comfortable keeping data electronically and will have fewer propensities to print it. Provide training and instruction to users on best practices of filing and organizing electronic data.
  3. Improve User Knowledge on PDF Conversion and Use: Users need additional training on using PDF software. In particular how to merge and combine PDF documents, how to convert emails and other MS Office documents to PDF, how to extract/add pages into a PDF and how to make comments/notations. A large portion of paper printing is to re-scan in documents in a certain order, to remove or add pages or to add a copy of an email to an official paper file.
  4. Implement e-signatures: Implement the use of signing documents electronically. Provide clear guidance and training on how to use and process e-signatures.
  5. Automate Paper Processes: There are still paper-based processes (mainly with multiple signatures needed on a document) that could be automated and managed electronically. Identify those processes that require paper printouts and engage a productivity or IT consultant to suggest electronic alternatives.

Desktop Search Tool Recommendations

Desktop search tools or systems are becoming more important for users to easily find data that is in multiple formats and systems. The search function in Windows Explorer is very slow and cumbersome. To help users find information more quickly, organizations could invest in a desktop search tool, such as one of the following available desktop tools.

Google Desktop: This is a free desktop search tool. It will perform searches on multiple hard drives, email programs, and the Internet. The challenge of using Google Desktop for most companies is the access it provides to Google’s server. For security and privacy-based purposes, most companies opt out of using it.

Copernic: One of the leading desktop search tools available, it has individual and enterprise-wide applications available. Prices are under $60 per user.

Brainware: An extremely robust enterprise-wide search and indexing software, Brainware is intended for large organizations and data files.

ISYS Search Software : Another search tool for enterprise systems, ISYS interfaces with systems often used by larger organizations such as Lotus Notes, Oracle, and SAS systems.

To learn more how to organize computer documents, download the free report How to Organize Your Computer Documents.

Productivity Blog Recommendations

Productivity Blog Recommendations

In order to support those New Year resolutions on being more organized and productive, take time to read from some experts on the subject. Here is a list of recommended productivity and organizational efficiency blogs:

Officiency: Ok, shameless plug, but we do offer a specialized focus on how to utilize technology to improve productivity including application resources and tips. Check out the categories to the right for various topics.

Zen Habits: Definitely one of the top blogs on simplicity and life balance. Leo Babauta is rated as one of the Top 25 blogs on productivity.

LifeHacker: LIfehacker has a series of topics it blogs on, one of which is productivity in the office and at work.

Your Life. Organized.: Monica Ricci, a professional organizer, based out of Atlanta writes on how to organize your life. She is witty and funny and always has some great tips.

ClutterDiet Blog: Lorie Marrero, author of the Clutter Diet book and program, includes hands-on videos to show you how to be more organized in your home and life.

David Allen: Author of Getting Things Done, David Allen, writes blog posts for the Huffington Post on personal and organizational productivity.

Application Recommendations to Manage Contacts and Business Cards

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships. 

 Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

 Productivity Applications

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.
  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.
  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.

·         Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.
  • Duplicate Contacts Eliminator: Scans Outlook Contacts and eliminates and/or merges duplicate records.

 Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.
  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.

 Contact Sync

·         Plaxo: A web-based contact management tool that has been in the market place for awhile and now interacts with other platforms such as Outlook, Apple and Gmail. It will email your contacts for updated contact information usually annually or per request.

·         Companion Link: This application syncs contacts, calendar, tasks, notes from application to application and mobile devise to mobile devise.

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships.

 

Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

Productivity Applications

 

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.

 

  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.

 

  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.

·         Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.

 

 

Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.

 

  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.

App Blog Recommendations

Are you looking to find out what is new in the app world? Here are a few resources to learn about smartphone and mobile devise applications:

Appolicious: Appolicious is a mobile app discovery service dedicated to helping consumers and businesses find iOS and Android applications.

AppStorm: The do a nice job of organizing recommendations by various mobile devise platform of iphone, Android, ipad, windows.

The Guardian/ Apps Blog : The UK media source, they do a good job on their app blog on recommendations.

Do More Faster: A list of productivity apps organized by job title and position with general sections for personal life and business.