Switching to a paperless office has been a real eye-opener for me. Some things I was expecting, but others have surprised me.
One of the biggest surprises is how easy it’s been to make the switch.
And, so far, there are no negatives to report — only benefits, for me and the environment.
10 benefits of going paperless
Here are 10 of my favourite paperless perks.
1. You reduce the clutter around you
Before I went paperless I would find myself working from several paper documents, all stacked on top of each other — and I would still struggle to find the one I needed.
Moving the papers around sometimes caused me to spill drinks on them — I’m clumsy like that.
I felt overwhelmed, untidy and inefficient.
Going paperless has changed that. It feels streamlined and I’m far less likely to lose things.
2. It saves space
If I don’t have the paperwork, I don’t have to find somewhere to keep it.
That means no overflowing trays, no overfull folders, no bulky box files and no ugly filing cabinets.
Without all these features, you can work from a much smaller office space — or, indeed, from practically anywhere.
3. It saves money
Not only am I not buying paper — I’m not buying the consumables that go with it. These include paperclips, staples, printer inks, labels, folders and files.
4. It saves time
You can achieve so much more when you’re not spending time trying to resolve printer problems, filing documents away and searching for documents you’ve filed.
5. It’s more secure
With the new GDPR rules now in place, data security is paramount.
Encrypted digital storage is more secure than paper. It’s also easier to protect from fire or flood damage and easier to back up — resulting in less risk of data loss.
6. It gives you quick and easy access to files and information
Thanks to an organised digital filing system and the powers of the Internet, it’s easy to locate the things you need.
Even if you misplace a file, the computer can usually find and retrieve it for you. Much easier than trawling through a wall of filing cabinets.
7. Digital systems are more portable and convenient
A single portable device containing the documents you need is much easier to transport than several bulky paper files.
I find typing notes much quicker and easier than writing them by hand, so taking a laptop to meetings works well for me.
Notes you’ve made during your meeting are conveniently and securely stored in the client’s file, rather than in one of several notebooks you might have lying around.
And you can send your notes directly to the client, as a record of what you discussed, rather than having to type them up from scratch.
8. You gain an appreciation for alternative technologies
When you come across a task you would normally carry out on paper, you urge yourself to find an alternative.
Then you find there are are plenty of great apps and online tools out there that open up new and exciting ways of doing things.
9. Digital records are more reliable
Digital records are automatically filed in alphabetical/numerical order and automatically dated. I have found this removes a lot of the potential for human error.
10. You know you’re benefiting the environment.
It’s great to do something that benefits you in so many ways. It’s even better when the environment benefits too.
I hope you have found these posts helpful.
If they have inspired you to reduce your own paper usage, there are plenty of useful resources online to help you get started.
I’m Jenny Lucas, a UK copywriter, based in Leicester.
About the author
I became a copywriter in 2005 after six years working in design and marketing.
I started my freelance copywriting business alongside my full time job in 2011 and, in 2017, I decided to give up having a day job and freelance full time.
Today I’m a generalist copywriter who specialises in conceptual copywriting and SEO copy for the web.