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.

Computer PC Tips: Office 365 is Good for Small Businesses

Office 365 is essentially Microsoft Office in the cloud. It essentially lets you have all the functionality of Microsoft Office suite of applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook via the Internet. Therefore you can use Microsoft Office products on any mobile devises, Mac or other operating systems. The small to medium sized enterprise version also includes access to SharePoint and OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). Depending on the version you purchase you can also have local copies of Microsoft Office and Lync available. (Lync is Microsoft online meeting and communications application).

For small businesses who don’t want office_365the maintenance of regular business server or Microsoft exchange server, Office 365, provides the functionality of a networked environment without the expensive hardware and software costs. Because it is cloud-based it also means no more upgrading since Office 365 will always be up-to-date. Once 365 is set up then it can be managed by an administrator or IT support staff.

Learn more information on pricing plans and features.

Computer PC Tips: Protecting your Computer from Viruses

We aren’t free from the virus world yet with PC’s. It is important not only to have virus protection software but also make sure your PC settings are set up correctly to avoid getting viruses. Follow these Microsoft tips to help protect your computer from viruses.computer_virus

Windows 8 tips on protecting your computer from viruses

Windows 7 tips on protecting your computer from viruses

Windows Vista tips on protecting your computer from viruses

Electronic Document Naming Conventions Tips

Document naming conventions are important to facilitate better searching, access and retrieval of electronic files and documents whether on a personal computer or shared drive network. The following are items to be mindful of when creating document naming conventions:

  • Separators: An underscore (_) or dash (-) is recommended to use as the only separators for document naming conventions. This assists users to read naming conventions easily as well as clarifies separation of text for system search functions. Avoid using special charters in a document name such as: \ / : ; * ? “” < > [] & $. These characters may present errors in various systems that do not recognize them in document names.
  • Length of Document Name: Document file path and name on a Shared Drive cannot exceed 255 characters (this includes the file path of a document name and includes all characters including slashes, dashes, periods, underscores and spaces). It is important to be mindful when naming documents in a file folder that is a level six (6) or greater to keep it concise.
  • Use of Acronyms: In order to maximize search functionality spell out words and refrain from acronyms to the extent necessary to ensure clarity. Use only abbreviations and acronyms that are considered ‘global’ in use within the organization and identified on the organizations acronyms list.

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