5 Steps to Transition to a Paperless Office

The paperless work environment has changed the business landscape forever. An electronic filing system can not only save on office expenses by reducing your cost on furniture but also make your business processes more competitive. It is also more secure as you can back up all your files. Below are a few tips to create an efficient electronic filing system.

Step 1: Have a plan
Visualize how you want to structure your digital folders. Create a plan and follow it.

Step 2: Categorize folders by topic
Organize all your folders by topic. A few examples are banking, marketing, and travel. The file name provides a snapshot to find information quickly by scanning for a name, by date or other significant indicators.

Step 3: Name sub-folders to fit folders
Create sub-folders within the categories you have named. Your sub-folders need to fit with your folder topics. Make all your folders and sub-folders concise, unique and relevant to their file names.

Step 4: Use of letters, numerals and special characters
Digital order is done numerically and alphabetically. For example, April will be before January because of the order of the alphabet. To simplify processes, you can use numerical order,e.g. 01 (January), 02 (February), etc. Avoid spaces or other characters such as: ! # $ % & ‘ @ ^ ` ~ + ; . ; = ) (

Step 5: Naming protocol
Name your folders and sub-folders with descriptive names that are logical to you. It is probably the most important element when planning your digital system.

A paperless office reduces cost, increases physical space and has time saving benefits. By being consistent and following a logical format, your digital office will work efficiently, effectively and productively for you.

Elizabeth Densmore

Elizabeth Densmore is the owner of Office 2 Office Business Solutions in West Kelowna, BC. Office 2 Office Business Solutions offers a range of office efficiencies for your small business to operate at top capacity by introducing the tools, training and strategies to become more effective and productive. Elizabeth provides the guidance to streamline systems that accelerate, organize and simplify everyday processes.

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