The Paperless Office: Using Paperless Home To Scan And Shred

paperfreeIt’s estimated that when you use a printer/scanner machine in your home office to digitise some important documents that you’ll take at least two minutes to actually finish this task. If you multiply that by the number of important documents you have to deal with and process in this way, you can begin to see how cumbersome such an approach really is in today’s “paperless” world.

An enterprise called Paperless Home has come up with a solution. They will provide a supply of prepaid envelopes ready for you to send all your important documents to them ready for processing. These are large envelopes – each one can take up to 200 pages of regularly sized paper. If you like, this is approximately the size of one of those three ring binders. You can order as many of these envelopes in advance as you want and they’re prepaid and valid for up to six months at a time.

Take a little time at the beginning to come up with a system. Categorise your documents into piles that make sense to you and then use the supplied category stickers, each of which comes with a relevant barcode. The only other thing you need to do is to remove the odd paperclip or any other metal staples before you put the categorised documents into those envelopes.

Once the envelopes have found their way into the Paperless Home office they are then sent through to the production centre where they’re scanned into searchable PDF files. You will already have set up an account and have a digital filing cabinet available to you. All your coded documents go into this “filing cabinet” where they can be easily downloaded to your computer at your leisure. Think about how valuable this type of service would be. You’ll be able to access all of this data online without having to worry about your time spent scanning and maintaining your various file folders yourself. It’s also possible to have the files sent to you on a USB stick should you wish.

What happens to the paper documents? If you don’t want to do anything more with them then after a period of 30 days they’re professionally shredded. However, if you want to receive these documents back for some reason then you simply use green-coloured envelopes at the outset, which is a signal to the people at the other end that they need to send them back to you once they’ve been scanned.

Security is of course important to all of us and sometimes we don’t want to have any documents scanned necessarily but we do want to have them professionally and confidentially shredded. For this purpose Paperless Home have a different colour envelope – black – that you can use to send your material over there for that purpose.

For the solo entrepreneur or small business owner the smaller the footprint the better today. Who wants to have one of those old-fashioned filing cabinets in the corner of their office anymore? By using a system that quietly but accurately categorises all the paper that you receive digitally, you know that you’ll be able to go online and access whatever you need “in the cloud” at your own convenience.

 How paperless are you?