“Man is a creature of habit. Doing away with paper invoices and printed emails is not easy for everyone. Yet, everyone can work paperless, whether you’re a designer, an accountant or a manager, “ says Peter Snoeckx. “Once you’ve made the decision, it’s best to get started right away. For that, you need the right tools. A good scanner combined with a multi-functional inkjet printer is virtually indispensable. A second screen is advisable as well: one to read and an other one to take notes. Equally important is a good storage and backup strategy,” underlines Peter. “If you spill your morning coffee on paper, that is sloppy. If you spill it on your laptop, the consequences might be a lot graver. If you get into the habit of synchronising documents straightaway into the cloud with Dropbox, Onedrive, Google Drive or your own storage server, you’ll always have peace of mind that your data is safe.”
Keys instead of ballpoints
Good software is another key requirement. “Think about getting Evernote or OneNote,” says Peter. “Software that allows you to store notes in the cloud immediately. An Office-suite such as Office 365 comes in very handy because you can use it across multiple platforms and devices and synchronise all your work online. Get a tool to create and annotate PDF-files as well. And last, but not least: a smartphone app that allows you to do quick sketches or document scans on the run. I myself use CamScanner.”
It’s OK to stray from the path!
“Paperless has been around for some time now, but it took quite a while for the idea to gain a substantial following. Technological progress (i.e. longer-lasting laptop batteries, cloud storage, …) and a change in the way people approach “e” has given the idea a final push,” says Peter. “Nowadays we find it normal to receive e-invoices, for instance. The distrust has almost completely disappeared.” And yet, paperless doesn’t mean you have to throw out every Post-It or bit of paper. Says Peter: “You don’t have to ban paper completely. I can imagine that an architect, for instance, would still rather roam his constructions sites with a clipboard than a laptop or tablet.”
A paperless office is pure profit, because you save.
Peter Snoeckx has been a consultant for the past twenty years and is attached to Möbius, where he advises companies in important strategic decisions. He’s especially active in project leadership, change management and overall process advice.
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