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5 Apps You Need To Create a Paperless Office

5 Apps You Need To Create a Paperless Office (Image Source: Pixabay Creative Commons)

You've probably received an email from a contact that looks like this: "At the Smith and Smith Electric Repair, we do our best to conserve resources and work towards a paperless office. In that respect, we ask that you print off the attached document and fill it out before an electrician arrives."

It sounds a bit like a joke, right?

Imposing paper and printing costs on the customer isn't a route towards conservation nor is it tech-savvy protocol. A truly paperless office implements thoughtful uses of apps that satisfy the needs of both business and consumer. Here are some apps and programs to take on when closing the door on your office's paper use. 

1. Evernote

Evernote is an easy to use organizing and note-taking app that continues to win our affection here at Geek. We love everything about this program, from its notebooks to its convenient Web Clipper. Evernote contributes to the paperless office by allowing users to transition from the old days of printing and storing in cabinets to the new days of accessing your files from smartphone, tablet, or computer

2. Asana

Asana creates synchs up communication between team members without using email. It's already our favorite task manager, and we use it on the daily here at Geek. With Asana, you can create projects and assign sub-projects to different team members. Asana shows deadlines on both calendar and list formats, and you can look at tasks for an entire team or an individual. You can start conversations, follow certain posts, and monitor progress as you get the job done!

3. The Google Family (Calendar, Docs, Etc.)

For many, Google is synonymous with the internet, so it's no surprise that their group of offerings can also take over many digital tasks. For example, Google Docs can serve as editing software by allowing multiple document managers to make addition and subtractions to written projects, and it also has the technology to extend past the traditional document into more diverse formats like spreadsheets. All updates are in real time and tracked, making collaboration simple and clear. 

4. Hello Sign

The folks at Lifehacker are keen on this app that enables electronic signatures via PDF. Contributor Whitson Gordon writes: 

HelloSign is one of the simplest electronic signing apps we've seen yet, mostly because it's integrated right into Gmail. Now, if you receive an email with a PDF attached, you'll see a new option below it to sign it. Once you connect Gmail to HelloSign, you can upload a signature from an image or draw it right into the app and use that for all your future documents. Just paste in the signature, add any other necessary info, and send it right back.

5. efax

Receiving faxes through your smartphone might sound like a strange merging of the 1990's and today, but just like the return of grunge flannel to fashion magazines, efax makes it hip to stay in touch with the past. This subscription service also allows you to send files too big for email and features up-to-date security to keep the flow between mobile device, web, and fax machine safe and tidy. 

Of course, before you make this leap it's important to consider the pros and cons of the paperless office. There are folks who can transition to a paperless office in a sprint, but you might be most comfortable slowly adapting to your apps and kissing paper goodbye. To stay up-to-date and in-the-know of the latest apps that your business will need to go paperless, sign up for our newsletter!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).