Being brave and moving towards a computer based office can mean large savings in paper and time.
If you enjoy putting tabs on A4 folders, filing letters and invoices, searching through paper files to find the item you want, printing off publications or essays onto paper to read and mark, photocopying duplicates and setting off to the post office with a pile of letters, read no further. You will happily fill your days, needlessly use paper, but at least it can eventually be recycled.
Going totally electronic makes life so much easier as well as saving paper. With a well-ordered file management system, letters and emails can be saved in appropriate folders, together with correspondence received. Missing files can be searched for using the computer search facility or Google. It can even be used to find key names or sentences within documents. Apart from a computer, a back-up filing cabinet for the odd paper correspondence is all that is needed. The computer files can be backed up on the cloud, via Google or Apple, or your own external hard drive, plugged into your computer USB port. You can work on shared documents stored on Google drive.
If you are unconvinced as to whether you can read reports from the screen, mark essays on screen, or edit people’s work, try it for a fortnight and see if you want to go back to paper.
Banking and bill updates
All payments can be carried out on line using Banks Automated Clearing Systems (BACS). Bank statements can be checked and past statements viewed. Companies will offer to bill you by email or send share certificates electronically. This saves you having to file the material sent, and saves having to actively put it in a file.
Printing out paper copies
Even the most avid eco-warriors must print out material sometimes. If doing this, ensure that the printer is set to copy on both sides of the paper.
Smart phone or tables for diary
Even paper diaries have had their day. All smart phones, tablets and computers have diaries, which can be synchronized (synced) with each other; if you want you can include your partner’s diary.
Meeting up with work associates
While it is worthwhile to meet face to face with work colleagues to get to know them and to bond, there is no sense in travelling huge distances for meetings. Zoom, Microsoft teams, Skype, Facetime allow conferencing and debate, while avoiding the hassle of air, train and car travel.