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Top 7 Ideas On How You Can Go Paperless In Your Office

As promised in my last post “The Day The Printer Died” I said I would give you some ideas on how you can start to go paperless in your office. It really is a great time to go paperless whether you are working out of your home office or have a small to medium sized business office. Let’s face it, printing has become a real chore what with having to buy the supplies, the maintenance of the printers and finally having to file & store all of that paper.

Did you know that Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster envisioned a “paperless society” way back in 1978, he even wrote a book on it, “Toward Paperless Information Systems” (make this a link). Well as we all know it’s not here yet but hopefully some of these tips will help you get started. But thanks to paperless technologies it just may be possible in the near future. It does clear clutter in your business but it also saves you money and is a great way for you to reduce you carbon footprint.

Let’s start with some of the Productivity Apps out there.

Hello Sign

Ok, so you’ve gone completely paperless, or so you thought. How about when you, one of your employees or your bookkeeper needs to have a document with a signature on it? At these times you find yourself pressing the CTRL+P button to print, sign and then scan or fax the signed document to the proper entity.

This is where Hello Sign (make this a link) comes in. It lets you sign documents through your web Browser or mobile device without printing, scanning or faxing. It’s totally secure and the electronic signature is legally binding and even accepted by the IRS, can you believe that?

Fujitsu ScanSnap

If your anything like me I have receipts, business cards and notes all over the place, on my desk, in my pockets and of course in my car. So of course one of the first steps in going paperless is getting rid of existing piles of paper. The Fujitsu ScanSnap (make this a link) scanner digitizes your paper receipts and anything else you want to save digitally.

What’s really cool about this though is you can connect this to a Shoeboxed Account (make this a link)! Using Shoeboxes will allow you create reports, edit data, label receipts and scan multiple pages at a time.

HelloFax

Why is it people still fax? I don’t get it but until absolutely everyone finally, like finally quits faxing stuff you can bet you will on occasion still have to send or receive a fax.

You can send & receive faxes without paper and without a fax machine. It lets you keep the exact same fax number but switches the entire process to online faxing via email. It allows your customers to still send faxes the old way, while you’ll lead the way with completely paperless faxing.

Using HelloFax (make this a link) the process will no longer be a pain and will be completely paperless!

 

Software Options

Google Docs

Save the trip to the printer when you have to share documents with co-workers not only in the same location but literally across the globe if you so desire. With Google Docs (make this a link) which is a free service run through Gmail, you can work simultaneously with colleagues on a document or spreadsheet. The system will even let you “chat” with others viewing the document. One cool feature is it continuously saves so you’ll never lose your work. You have the option of downloading the files if you need to email them or print them God forbid. You can even compare an earlier version of a document at any time. For a free service you really can’t beat Google Docs to help you take one step closer to going paperless.

Paperless Statements and Bill Paying

Many of us still insist on getting our statements thru the mail which makes no sense anymore. Most banks if not all now offer paperless statements and even provide incentives for customers to manage their account online. Pay your bills online and save on paper, checks, envelopes and the time it takes employees to coordinate invoices, checks and mailings. If you’re a merchant you could use an app like Square (make this a link) to accept payments through your smartphone. You can also email receipts for customers instead of printing them

Take Digital Notes

With the wide range and ever growing note taking apps out there why would anyone want to use another Post-it? It makes one wonder if the Post-It note will go the way of the way of the slide rule, their just comes a time when a product has run its course and something else better takes its place. You have text only options such as SimpleNotes (make this a link) to more sophisticated offerings such as EverNote (make this a link) and Microsoft OneNote. Some have touchscreen and stylus support that lets you enrich notes with sketches and diagrams and all notes are saved to the cloud.

Reduce Where You Can’t Eliminate

The unfortunate reality is that we all face situations where paper printouts are unavoidable or we work with partners and clients who require them. When you’re faced with these situations there are still things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Use duplexing where ever you can, it’s just like using 50% less paper. Find a font that is known to save on ink and set it as you default font, you’d be surprised at how much this can save you in a year. Think about switching to Eco-friendly printer cartridges, these have come a long way from when they first came out. They use the spent cartridges and remanufacturer them to OEM specs, but be away you get what you pay for. You can find fantastic deals on line but it’s the “you get what you pay for” deal. Find a reputable dealer that backs up their product with a rock solid warranty, is easy to contact and has a excellent replacement and return policy.

While the paperless society remains elusive for most of us adopting processes that puts the emphasis on digitization will help us to get closer and closer to the ideal.

AFFORDABLE INKJET PRINTER FOR A $300 BUDGET

HP OFFICEJET PRO 8600

Here is the second installment of our four part series with top picks for printers in four budget categories, $150, $300, $500 and $750. For the $300 budget, the All-in-one HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 printer gets a thumbs up  in this price range. This is a state-of-the-art inkjet MFP (multi-function printer) in just about every respect. And if that’s not enough, its ink costs are among the lowest in the industry.

This machine has both speed and features. It prints at a record-setting speed of 13.2 pages per minute printing plain text, it also was very fast when printing photos, copying, and scanning. Its many features include universal automatic duplexing for copying, scanning, printing and supports legal-size paper, both on the flatbed scanner and in the 50 sheet ADF. One thing this machine can’t do is print on a CD or DVD but if that is a feature you really need there are many other choices out there that specialize in this feature. The context-sensitive touch control does seem a little slow to react.

You can print from your smartphone, tablet, or from a remote location. HP’s free ePrint service lets you e-mail print jobs to the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus or any other e-print enabled HP printer.

It takes the HP 951 series inks which come in the standard yield and the high yield versions. The standard yield gives you 1,000 pages for the black and 700 pages for each of the colors and are priced at $26.99 for the black and $19.99 for each of the colors. The high yield version cartridges have page yields of 2,300 pages for the black and is priced at $36.99 and 1,500 pages for each of the colors with a price tag of $27.99 for each color. Going with the high yield just makes sense.

Other choices you may want to look at in this price range is the Epson Artisan 837 Color inkjet All-In-One and the Dell 2350dn Laser Printer.

If you need help in choosing a printer for home or office use gives us a call at Ink & Toner Solutions, inc and we would be glad to guide you through this process.

AFFORDABLE INKJET PRINTER FOR A $150 BUDGET

HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One

As promised this is the first installment of our four part series with top picks for printers in four budget categories, $150, $300, $500 and $750. For the $150 budget, we feel that the multifunction HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One printer is the best buy. This machine is billed as a photo-oriented home printer but it can handle far more than that.

It posted average or better speeds in printing, scanning and copying tests; and it includes an ADF, a feature that’s rare at this price. The automatic document feeder (ADF) allows you to fax, scan and copy unattended. You can also fax without a phone line using your internet connection and a third-party Service. You can print from virtually anywhere  using HP’s ePrint. Print from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch wirelessly with AirPrint.

Other standard equipment is a 125 sheet input tray and a 20 sheet photo tray for media up to 5 by 7 inches in size and the unit’s automatic duplexing applies to both the printer and the scanner. You get to save energy with this ENERGY STAR qualified printer using less than 1 watt of energy in Off mode and you can conserve paper by automatically printing double-sided pages. On top of all these great features, the ink for this machine, the HP 564XL series is reasonable priced even if you buy the new OEM cartridges from HP. If you decide you want to save even more cash and help the environment you can purchase high quality remanufactured ink cartridges from Ink & Toner Solutions, Inc. You really can’t go wrong with this printer for home or small office printing.

In our next review we will look at a printer that will fit into a $300 budget, stay turned.

THE BEST PRINTER FOR YOUR BUDGET

You know the routine, you need a new printer and the first place you turn to is either the internet or you just go to a big box store, sounds like a simple task right, wrong. Even before you start looking you should have a good idea of what you’re looking for in terms of your printing needs. Without this knowledge you are leaving yourself wide open to making a purchase you will later regret. Continue reading

HP TopShot Color LaserJet Pro M275

HP TopShot Color MFP M275

The HP M275 is a color laser multifunction printer that prints, copies and scans; but what sets this printer apart from most is it comes with an elevated, 8-megapixel camera. It makes taking images of a small three-dimensional object as easy as making a copy. If you think you need a printer that can take a photo in your home or office this may be the machine for you. Continue reading