Making your life paperless can help you feel more organized than ever. A great place to start is your home office! Our most recent article shared six do-it-yourself tips for streamlining all of your documents into a convenient paperless system.
This week we’re making sure you’re up to speed on the latest software solutions to make the paperless approach even more convenient. Some great places to start on your paperless software journey are: file-syncing services, document delivery services, e-signature tools, and digital to-do apps.
While many software services incorporate several different features to meet your paperless office needs at once, we’re helping you zero in on the features that will be most useful to you, and helping you start with the best-reviewed apps out there today to make it all possible.
Ready to begin?
Imagine your documents at your fingertips in digital format, easily accessible on all your devices whenever you need them.
Many of these file-syncing programs also allow you to save offline copies of documents to your devices. This means you can save a copy of a document offline to work on even if you’re unable to access the internet.
Give these well-reviewed services a try:
- Dropbox integrates with over 100,000 third-party apps. $9.99 a month or $99 a year.
- Google Drive is known for its lightning-fast upload speed and excellent desktop app. 15GB for free, 100GB for $1.99/month, or 1TB for $49.99/month.
- IDrive is secure and user-friendly, operating as a cloud-storage app, backup-and-restore app, file-syncing app and a file-sharing app. 5 gb for free, with several additional pricing options.
Document Delivery Services
While it’s very possible to deliver paperless documents as email attachments, there are some inconveniences you can easily bypass with today’s paperless document delivery services.
You’ll never have to guess whether the recipient got your attachment, wrestle with files that are too large to email, or worry that your email program automatically downgraded the quality of the original.
Simply put the files you want to share into one folder in your syncing program and click to get a link that you can share. From that link, the recipient can download the files.
Document delivery services also come in handy when someone requests a fax (and it does still happen!).
Take one of these for a spin (and note that sometimes file-syncing programs, which we mentioned above, have document delivery options, too.)
- HelloFax has a built-in editing tool and a user-friendly interface. $9.99/month for the home office package.
- MyFax can deliver incoming faxes to multiple email addresses, and features international and toll-free fax numbers. Pricing starts at $10/month.
Need to sign a document? No more downloading, printing, signing, scanning and returning the document. Sign it digitally instead! Some documents are still protected from digital signatures, but signing digitally whenever possible will make your paperless lifestyle much smoother.
Once you create your signature, you can reuse it whenever you need to sign a document. Some e-signature tools require you to use pen and paper to create your signature, then snap a picture of it to upload.
Check out some of our favorite e-signature tools:
- Adobe Sign complies with the broadest range of legal requirements. Plans start at $9.99/month.
- Preview is a built-in Mac application that has many features you might not know about, including capturing your signature using your Mac’s iSight camera.
- Docusign is the most widely-used esignature solution, allowing you to send reminders and check signing status anytime you want. Plans start at $10/month.
Digital To-Do Apps
When you create a list with a pen and paper, you certainly can’t rearrange items according to their priority or assign someone a task and be notified when she’s completed it. But when your make the move to paperless with a digital to-do app, everything from staying on-task to collaborating with friends and family is beautifully convenient.
Your digital to-do list syncs across all the devices you use and lets you share them with anyone you wish. Your phone can send you reminders and alerts based on time or even your location – for example, one of yours might say, “Remind me to put the lasagna in the oven when I get home.”
Don’t miss these paperless to-do list apps (each with high-quality free versions):
- Any.do includes a “moment” feature that encourages you to make a habit of reviewing your daily tasks. Plans start at $2.09/month.
- Todoist works on all your devices and has great features for monitoring your productivity. Upgrade to the premium version for $28.99/year.
- Wunderlist makes managing tasks and sharing shopping lists easy and convenient. Luckily, the free version is likely all you’ll need – the premium version gets a little expensive. Plans start at $4.99/month.
Software Solutions Make Going Paperless Much Smoother
Which apps could you see yourself using? Which would fit best into your home office routine? Start small, keep learning, and stay open to innovation. Before you know it, your home office will be perfectly paperless.