Currently I’m celebrating that I’m not using paper documents anymore for more than a decade!
Open mindset and willingness to change
I had started scanning everything when I had two apartments related to job which were even in different cities. Logistically this is not the easiest thing to do when using paper documents . For me it led to situations when urgently needed documents, were in the wrong location.
So I thought: paperless brings freedom, why not scanning everything and storing it in a way that I can access it from anywhere? Initially I was using a professional document scanner which was able to scan double side documents quickly, and also added optical character recognition (OCR) to the PDFs which allows full-text searching. This scanner helped massively with scanning whole folders of paper documents, and then getting rid of them.
Unfortunately I still have to keep one folder as e.g. insurance companies still keep sending me paper documents via mail, even in 2023.
Document scanner versus smartphone
Meanwhile however my smartphone in most of the cases replaces the professional document scanner as it is “good enough” so to say. It produces perfect scan results and OCR is done as well. These days I’m using the document scanner only when I receive a bigger amount of double sided paper documents.
Paperless brings freedom – File storage
I’m using a NAS (network attached storage) as file server where all my private documents and media is stored. It offers enough functionality including access rights management. All clients then just map a network drive for accessing all data.
I like this “abstraction layer” compared to using a PC or Mac with a built-in hard drive. In case there is a problem with a client, e.g. my Mac, I just reinstall the machine which is done quickly, and then just map the network drive again. Very convenient!
The fact, that my file server is accessible from anywhere, brings me the freedom to work from anywhere, which feels great! Paperless brings freedom 🙂
It is also very cool in situations like a doctor’s appointment when I get asked about a specific blood value and recall that this blood value was determined not long ago by a different doctor. My answer is then: “give me a minute, I’ll just pull up the appropriate document “. And then hand over my Ipad so that the doctor can read 🙂
The Backup Strategy
If you decide for not using paper anymore, a solid backup strategy is simply a must. I’m using various cloud providers where encrypted backups are automatically uploaded to during the week. Additionally, I’m doing local backups using external hard drives. The benefit of these is that they are not connected to the Internet.
The Business Perspective
From a business perspective, there is no valid reason anymore to using paper documents. Beside environmental and cost aspects, digital documents offer enhanced security via encryption and access control. They also help improving productivity as they can be shared instantly and offer seamless collaboration.
From a psychological aspect I always have the positive feeling that I have everything available – everywhere 🙂
Leadership Versus Management
Real Leadership is about creating a vision and strategy for a company while management is more covering the execution piece.
As a C-Level Digital Executive and Certified High Performance Caoch, these are my main tasks. Brings up the question: where can I do this best?
For me this is on top of a mountain while still having access to everything I need. Especially since the alternative would be a noisy office with lots of people around me 😉
Have a great day and make a difference!