The growth in information technology has detonated the explosion in the volume of paper produced with some companies literally drowning in paper.
Living in the technological age would suggest that we would all be satisfied if our information needs were catered for by electronic means.
A visit to any office, or nearer home - a glance at your desk or filing cabinet, might reveal piles and piles of documents, reports unread, press cuttings, memos, invoices, credit notes and the list goes on.
For some reason, we all have this psychological and emotional attachment to paper that we need to overcome to rid ourselves of the bonds of paper.
Even where we have all the information we want electronically, producing it on paper gives the illusion of legitimacy and creditability of the information. Paper, does makes the information more real, even three-dimensional.
What can be done to get a grip if you're drowning in paper, as dealing with mountains of paper can affect how efficiently you and you your co-workers operate.
Here are some tips:
• Distribute one copy of a document with a circulation list attached, so all recipients can initial they have read it, rather than sending a copy to every individual on the list.
• Produce a list of all reports in your company and compile a questionnaire for users asking if they actually use the reports. If not. grab the opportunity to seek and destroy redundant, but still printed, reports. If you’re a one man band, do you read them?<
• Subscribe to online information providers rather than obtaining copies of directories and journals
• Photocopy and print on both sides of the paper
• If you’re really ambitious, try to quantify how much time you deal with filing documents and reading them or reports that don’t add value to your business
Use any of the above tips and share with us any others you have.