A Paperless Office

Many years ago, computers promised the possibility of creating a paperless office; but instead of realizing that promise, we are using more paper than ever before. Well, the rest of the world is using more paper than ever before -- I am working hard to organize myself and create a truly paperless office. Since becoming paperless several years ago, I am more organized and can accomplish more in an hour than I ever did before. I don't have stacks of paper all over the house, and I can find an elusive document in a few minutes.

The key for me to a paperless office is my scanner. Next to my computer, the scanner is the one piece of equipment I consider essential. HP has an interesting article on creating a paperless office. I currently use an HP Scanjet 7400c with one-button scanning to the following:

  • Send the document via e-mail.
  • FAX the document using my FAX/modem.
  • Copy the document. (It comes out on my color printer.)
  • File the document. (It creates a PDF file and saves it on my computer's hard drive. The PDF software is built into the scanner software so there is no additional software to purchase or install.)
  • Convert document to text. (I can change printed text into a Word document -- this uses a technology called OCR.)
  • Create a TIFF, GIF, JPEG, etc. image from the document/picture.

In addition to not printing documents I create, I scan ALL other papers I get -- from meetings, in the mail, or anywhere else. I scan all bills I receive then shred the original bill. All this "paper" is filed on my hard drive and backed up to CD's -- it's not in my office. Using the Windows FIND feature, I can find any document in just minutes.

Try it, you'll like it!

Maintained according to Earthlink Publishing Guidelines by Jolene M. Morris
2001 Jolene M. Morris - All rights reserved
Last updated on  Sunday, February 17, 2002