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4 Tips on Getting Your Business to Paperless

'Paperless' is a huge buzzword right now. Everyone wants to run their business without paper—to save money, be environmentally friendly, and stay organised.

But getting started on the path to going paperless is tough: where do you begin? Here are four tips to help you get started.

1. Find a place to store everything.

If you have your digital documents stored in many different places, you're not going to be any more organised than you were before you went paperless, which means you're missing out on one of the greatest advantages: the ability to keep everything highly organised and easily accessible.

Decide on a backup provider—CrashPlan and Carbonite are great for backing up everything on your computer, while something simpler like Dropbox or Google Drive will be sufficient for just keeping your work documents—and back up your documents regularly.

Our app helps keep all of your invoices, quotes, and customer information in a single place online, all of it easily accessed via the web dashboard.

2. Get in the habit of scanning new documents.

It can take a long time to scan your archive of old documents—you might be able to do it in a weekend, or you might have to do it over the course of a month. Either way, it's important to get a headstart on your incoming papers, or you'll always be behind.

Having a high-quality scanner, something like the Doxie Go or the Fujitsu Scansnap, will make the process go a lot faster.

Receipts, invoices, professional communications, employee records, job paperwork, and many other types of documents should be scanned. It's a lot, but don't get discouraged—it's worth it!

3. Use an app to stay organised.

Note-taking and -management apps like Evernote and OneNote are great for keeping track of your digital documents—you can create notebooks and binders, add notes, search for old notes, and share with your co-workers or employees.

Online services like NetDocuments and LogicalDOC are also useful for managing and storing your documents.

The SmartTrade web dashboard, iPhone/iPad App and Android App lets you take and store notes on your jobs, keeps your contacts organised, and makes it easy to access the records of old jobs—not to mention keeping you up-to-date on your calendar and how your business is doing.

4. Keep everything secure.

Even if you're not keeping customers' credit card numbers or other financial information online, you need to make sure that your files are well-protected. Many companies have suffered breaches in the past few years, and some never recover.

Choosing strong passwords, using encrypted storage, and sticking to the PCI guidelines will help not only protects you from cyber-vandalism, but also to protect your customers from identity theft.

Using the SmartTrade App is a great way to start being PCI compliant—with high-level encryption, all of the information that's passed through the app is very secure.

Get started today!

Getting started on going paperless is simple—you just need to pick something and go with it.

Using the SmartTrade App is a great place to start! You'll stop generating paper quotes and invoices, and it's easy to keep track of many of the important documents for your business.

The app is free! Why not try it out today? Just install it for iPhone/iPad or Android.

And if you want to learn more about going paperless, check out Jamie Rubin's website. He has some great tips to share!

Image credits: Sebastien Wiertz via flickr, 4rossgil via flickr.

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