The paperless office

July 25, 2013
JNH Solutions

Evernote-logoI recently helped a friend setup a website for a new business venture and remember the similar excitement I felt when starting up JNH Solutions over five years ago now.

Early in 2008 I went out in search for all the things I would need to create the perfect working environment. Office desk, chairs, filing cabinet and every office storage solution I came across.

While I have a pretty cool home office, I virtually spend any time in it these days, opting for doing the bulk of my work from the laptop in front of the television.

As time has gone on, I have pretty much become a paperless business. So I thought it was time to put out a post to tell others how they can move away from all the clutter and experience the same freedom of a paperless office.

The first step is to find yourself some online storage. I use three main ones (in no particular order):

  • Dropbox – While most of my Dropbox is filled with photos – both personal and ones that I use for SEO articles, it is very handy for getting images from clients. Gone are the days when I have to wait for a CD to be posted filled with potential images for the client’s new website. With Dropbox, they can invite me to their folder of images.
  • Google Drive – I use the web based Google Drive. All my PDF invoices are uploaded to my Google Drive. If clients request files I can zip them to my Google Drive and share a secure link to them so they can download the files.
  • Evernote – This is an online notepad. I have it installed on my laptop, my office computer, my phone and my tablet. The notes I create are synchronized between all my devices. I usually use Evernote to document the work I am doing and then copy & paste it into my invoices once the work is complete. Notes can be synchronized to other users, making it perfect for collaborative notes and ideas. It is also handy for creating to-do lists, shopping lists and much more for when I am on the go.

You would be surprised just how much time you save! No more looking for old invoices or going through thousands of DVD archives to find a lost file. I can simply search through my online storage and have access to whatever I need.

All of them have web interfaces, so even if I am on holiday’s without any of my mobile devices I can get to my files as long as I can get to a computer with an internet connection.

Unfortunately, mobile phones can get stolen or lost, computers can crash or become obsolete. The beauty of online storage is that devices can be replaced and synced quite easily.

Another thing I have implemented recently is changing my business email from POP to IMAP. Now rather than my email client taking the emails off my email server, I leave them on and use the IMAP protocol to synchronize between my phone and laptop. This also means that I still can access my JNH Solutions emails through the webmail.

Other online storage options:

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