Almost half of all printed documents end up in the trash within 24 hours of printing. And there are tons of other types of paper waste that are never used or recycled.
It also helps you live a more sustainable lifestyle while saving you space, money, and time.
But deciding to go paperless is easier said than done. Don’t worry, all you need are a few tips to help you overhaul your home or workplace culture. And this complete paperless guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Invest in Scanners and Recycling Stations
To go paperless, you need to remove the paper you already have first. This includes both important paper documents and unnecessary paper waste.
Invest in fast, high-quality scanners for your employees. This is so they can upload important documents straight to their computers. You can rent many of these machines to get rid of the initial backlog but keep one or two.
Why? Because you’ll no doubt still receive mail and paper from clients who aren’t paperless. But you can prepare for those instances by scanning the paper straight away and not storing it for reference later.
For your waste paper, invest in paper recycling stations and regular collection. Put them in convenient places around the office wherever you have trash cans. This is so that you aren’t asking employees to work harder to recycle.
You can also use this tip for paper waste at home.
Remove Printers, Copiers, and Fax Machines
Are you a small business owner that still uses fax machines? Then it might take your company a while to adjust to the paperless revolution. But a great first step is to remove all printers, copiers, and fax machines from your office or home office.
If this is unrealistic, remove all but one machine. Keep your office’s copier in a backroom far away from your employees so they feel less compelled to use it. You could also limit employees to a certain number of sheets per day.
And if you’re going paperless at home, keep your printer in a cupboard. That means you’ll have to plug it in every time you need to use it which will deter you from using it often.
Use Electronic Devices for Note-Taking
For everyday use, keep your smartphone on hand to jot down ideas and thoughts you need to remember later. This will stop you from using scrap pieces of paper, notebooks, and sticky notes.
But in the workplace, your employees should have laptops and tablets. Tablets are easier to write on as you would a notebook but they don’t cause paper waste.
Download Useful Apps and Software
Speaking of note-taking, you’ll need a note-taking app or piece of software on your device! Evernote, OneNote, or Notion are all great choices. Choose whichever you like for personal use but stick to one in the office to keep your systems’ streamlined.
There are so many other types of software out there to help you switch your systems to paperless ones. There’s transport management software, eSignature software, expense software, and so much more.
Send Emails and Digital Greetings Cards
You are likely already using email as your main form of communication instead of paper memos. But if you want a sustainable workplace or lifestyle, you can go one step further.
Send digital greetings cards instead of physical ones to employees and loved ones. You can also send email invites to functions and events instead of physical mail. With easy online graphics programs like Canva, creating cute online invitations is super easy.
Switch All Bills and Invoices to Digital
Another way to decrease the amount of mail you give and receive is to switch all bills to view online or by email. Here is a checklist of common bills you can use to make those changes:
- Electricity and gas
- Cable and streaming services
- Maintenance e.g. plumbing
- Insurance e.g. car and home
- Bank statements
- Student loan statements
See if there is an online form of communication you can choose instead.
Unsubscribe from all magazines and catalogs. You can often request digital receipts from hotels and stores too.
Use Whiteboards for Meetings and Lists
Going paperless doesn’t always mean going digital. There are analog alternatives to paper too. For example, use a whiteboard for brainstorming sessions in meetings and to take notes.
You could hang a small whiteboard in your kitchen to write down groceries you’re running low on. Then whenever you head to the store, you can take a photo of the list with your phone so you can refer to it.
You can also put a whiteboard in your home office to write down your daily to-do list or make rough notes. It’s easy to clean off with a cloth or sponge when you don’t need the information anymore.
Subscribe to Digital Publications
Magazines, newspapers, membership programs, and podcasts. These are only some examples of media you can consume online instead of by paper using apps like PressReader. That means you won’t have to miss out on your favorite content by going paperless.
It also means you are less likely to hoard at home. Too many people keep magazine collections in cupboards that they never look at again. But with digital publications, you can keep as many as you like without taking up physical space.
Going Paperless Is the Future
Using paper is a form of waste that the modern world doesn’t need to produce anymore.And if you use these tips, you’ll see exactly how easy and simple the switch can be.
You will need some expert tips if you want to do a good job. Browse our business and lifestyle articles for some advice!