5 Ways to Decrease Paper Usage in the Office

Paper can be a real burden on an office environment.

Whether it’s the long forgotten memo hidden in a drawer somewhere or the pile of reports bundled onto a desk, paper can make your office feel cluttered and disorganized. For many businesses, paper is a reality of everyday workload.

From documenting a customer or client's experience to logging account information, paper is often a vital part of daily operations. Typically, an average office worker will get through over 10,000 sheets of paper per year. That equates to four full boxes of copy paper in a single year. Imagine the amount of paper accumulated over the course of a career!

Despite the rise in technologies and communication, paper use and wastage are on the rise. Research suggests that paper use has increased by 50% since the 1980s. Many businesses are making the effort to transition to a paper-free or paper-reduced office experience.

Reducing the amount of paper in your office will not only help the environment and your company’s impact, but overall office productivity. Keeping everything organized and prepared digitally can save you huge amounts of time and efforts.

In today’s feature, we’ll be exploring how you can reduce your office’s level of paper usage and take the leap to the world of digital organization.

1. Meeting Notes

Meeting notes can easily be converted to a digital format using two methods.

First, you could take your notes directly in a platform like Evernote. As a free resource, it is a highly functional tool for taking and organizing various notes from multiple users. A digital platform like this would allow you to reduce paper waste in the office caused by meeting notes.

Second, you could build an Array form that is structured for your meetings and then input all relevant meeting notes into the form. This would allow you to not only keep your notes digital, but also track note taking metrics to spot trends in your meetings using Array's reporting feature.

Either option provides you with a way to avoid the need for extra unnecessary paper around the office. Note-taking apps are a popular way to organize meeting notes and bring them together in an easily viewable space for all to utilize.

2. Document Storage

Google Drive is a storage resource that can be used to create documents and also to store files and information. Google Drive is very secure allowing you to take all of your existing data and store it on their systems.

The benefits of storing things on Google Drive is that you can allow connection to other formats of documents for example. Docx, PDF, PNG, JPEGs, projects and much more. This secure location helps for simple and easy access to the whole team without the need to worry about security or damage, consuming less paper as you go too.

Array also provides an incredibly secure enterprise-level encrypted cloud storage solution. By using Array's platform, you could get the same benefit as Google Drive, but additionally utilize other paper saving features like the form builder and workflow automation tools.

3. Plan Your Workday

Even the daily task of creating a to-do list can amount to a ton of wasted paper over time. Using a digital resource is a more efficient and effective way to stay on task and organized. To-do list applications like TodoistThings 3, or TickTickare all great solutions to manage your daily tasks.

To-do list apps are underrated, and once you start using them on a daily basis you’ll discover all of the benefits of not having to remember everything in your head or on a loose piece of paper.

An even better solution would be Array's Task function. This function not only helps you manage your to-do list, but would allow management to set and assign tasks to specific employees and track the progress of that task. A task can be assigned with all relevant information and documentation and assigned instantly. Tasks can even be automated to be assigned to specific employees based on the metrics you choose.

4. Scan In Your Documents

In offices worldwide, the trend of scanning a document using a smartphone is becoming more accessible and saving teams a vast amount of time, space, and money. The hundreds saved on buying a scanner is now a thing of the past and offices are finding huge value in software applications.

Scanbot is one of the leading solutions on iOS and Android for scanning in documents from your phones. This app is well-crafted and great for securely sharing files too with others in external storage drives or communication applications like email, Slack, or Linkedin.

Array also has a great scanning feature, and unlike other scanning apps it is loaded with a ton of other helpful tools. Scan in all your old paper documents and store them on the secure server, and then be able to search that data to autofill in future form data. Additionally, you get the benefit of seamless integration with countless other digital workflow tools your company might be using like Hubspot, MailChimp, Salesforce, Shopify, and ZenDesk Sell.

5. Automate Your Workflow

As a manager or a leader of a team, it is important to understand the process of how a document is stored and organized for later. Without a good knowledge of how and where your data is stored, you could waste a lot of time later on searching for the information you need.

Creating a workflow for your document organization will save hours of time every single day. Five minutes wasted at a time might not seem like much, but compounded over time those five minutes could cost your business thousands of dollars. Decreasing the amount of time your team spends searching for a document will pay off later in overall workplace productivity and efficiency.

Use a workflow automation tool like Array to speed up your processes. Array not only gives you a better platform for collecting, storing, and sharing important documents and data, but it also allows you to automate how the data is collected, where it is stored, and who it is shared with. Stop wasting time with redundant data entry or time-consuming administrative tasks, and let Array do the busy work for you.

Turn Your Paperwork Into a Mobile App

These are just a few of the ways that you can start reducing your paper in an office environment. It takes effort and work to make the switch from physical paperwork to digital solutions, but that work is well worth it. You can end up saving countless hours and thousands of dollars down the road.

You could implement any of the tools mentioned here, or you could use Array to get the benefit of every tool wrapped into a single, powerful application that can be used on any computer or mobile device. To create the most efficient and productive office possible, you need the most intelligent tool available to you. Try Array for free today, and see for yourself how digitizing your paperwork can benefit you.

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