Three ways to reduce your office paper this year

Paper still has its uses.

Keeping office paper within bounds is a challenge that hasn’t gone away. Here are three practices you can adopt this year to reduce the amount of paper you keep.

Subscribe to online versions of newspapers, journals, and magazines.

Many publications offer a full or expanded online publication, often for less than the cost for delivery of the paper version.

Don’t print emails. Learn to file and search for them digitally.

Many task management programs allow you to quickly turn an email into a task so you can funnel it into your system and avoid having your email inbox function as a parallel to-do list. And when you’re looking for information, use desktop search to quickly find what you need.

Scan documents and recycle the paper version.

I use a Neat Receipts scanner to take care of the piles of business cards that accumulate during a networking event. I also use it to convert class handouts to digital format. And as its name suggests, it makes quick work of receipts. It’s optical character recognition fills in the blanks and quickly converts receipts directly to QuickBooks entries.

If you have a very paper-intensive business, choose a fast and compact sheet-fed scanner such as the ScanSnap by Fujitsu. Lots of professional organizers favor this model because of its speed, clarity, ability to handle mixed sizes and double-sided documents, and its value for the price.

Keeping only the paper you need leaves more space in file drawers. Uncluttered file drawers make finding  necessary documents much quicker.

How will you reduce the paper you keep? Declare your plans by leaving a comment here.

4 Responses to Three ways to reduce your office paper this year

    • Sorry, Christine, I don’t have any experience with DOXO, so I can’t be of help. Let me know how it goes.

  1. I’m having a huge purge of formerly “essential” documents which now don’t seem so vital. For example, when we moved here from England, the visa paperwork for my husband and myself was huge. 6 years on, much of it can be tossed.
    I’ve also joined catalogchoice.org, which I love. It’s made a huge difference in the volume of incoming paper.

    • English Organizer, your point about Catalogchoice.org is a good one – cutting down on incoming mail always helps. Likewise, reviewing old projects and weeding out backup material that no longer matters can reduce a file from inches thick to just a few pages.

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