This post is part of the paperless stories feature at DocumentSnap. Some stories are from readers that have successfully gone paperless, some are still going through it. Would you like to share your story too?
Today’s featured DocumentSnap reader is Alexander Walter from Munich, Germany.
What problems were you trying to solve by going paperless?
As you can read below, I was trying to get rid of all the incoming and outgoing papers every single day in my job. I cannot go totally paperless but my wish is still to reduce the paper where it’s possible. Therefore I have come to the conclusion, that even Rome wasn’t built in one day and so I’ve done this with ease and lot of brainstorming. What can be accomplished easily and right now is one’s own thinking. I was never afraid to loose any paper or significant documents since I trust myself and the computers I’m working with. They were built to make people’s life easier. The next step was jumping over the papers and give it a try with the folders from last year. Emptying them, getting the paper in packages and feeding the machines. Soon I got myself a big pile of empty folders and a whole year’s storage transferred to the computer. Much better: I could now gain immediate access to anything I was searching for, since the PDFs created are searchable.
Nowadays there are almost no more folders in my office. They were replaced by a simple briefcase-inbox. All of the papers are going there and whenever the inbox gets full, I start a scanner-session (in fact I can’t wait for the time because this is great fun!)
What were the biggest stumbling blocks?
They were none for me. It is all a matter of willing to solve the paper problem. First I got myself a Mac, next I bought some pretty intelligent software. With these means I got curious what else can be accomplished in an easy way and that was about the time, when I started research on the web and reading books about going paperless. Soon afterwards I was quite convinced that I was in need of one last but essential thing: A document scanner.
Tell us about your paperless workflow
I have already. Anytime the inbox is full or at least at the end of a month, when all the rest of the work has to be done, I start the scanner. Important documents are scanned immediately, digitally signed with my autograph and sent as PDF via e-mail.
Is this for a business? Tell us about it
I am working as head-nurse at the Emergency Ambulance University Eye Hospital in Munich. There are about 50.000 visits a year and they are still getting more, since we’ve reduced the capacity on our stationery ward. Surrounded by incoming and outgoing papers, such as receipts, orders, invoices and much more on a daily basis, my folders and file cabinets ran out of storing space after a few years of doing this the old-fashioned way.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know?
Guess what’s the hardware I use? A Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500. I love it! The software is DEVONthink Professional. The books I read: TidBits publishing on Take Control books. My favourite website on paperless office: DocumentSnap. Always brightens my day.
Thanks Alexander, glad to hear I brighten your day! Great use of a scanner and DEVONthink, but I think my favorite part is the realization that everything starts with a mindset shift.
If you have questions for Alexander, leave a comment and I will try to get them answered.
(Photo by aria9)