From the underground

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The myth of the paperless office

The paperless office is a little bit like Bigfoot. A friend of a friend may have heard about someone who swears they have seen one, and there might be a grainy video on YouTube about it, but there is little verifiable evidence to be found on the phenomena.

But didn’t all the futurists of yesteryear predict that we would live in a paperless society by now? Well, some did, anyway. I’m still waiting on that personal hovercraft that I was promised, as well. And it’s anyone’s guess which will happen first.

We may actually use more paper now than ever as we constantly print out emails, blogs and Powerpoint presentations. And even with all of the technological advances in data back-up, some critical information still requires hard copies. As the quality of online viewing and reliability of data back-up continue to improve, we are seeing a reduction in paper usage in some areas even as it expands in others.

Even an office that has successfully eliminated paper use internally still has to deal with clients and vendors who haven’t. For now, we are inching along a winding path that may or may not ever lead to a truly paperless office. In the meantime, your best bet may be to implement a cost-effective capture strategy that allows you to handle media of all kinds.