Here at Fueled, we strive for a paperless office and have found that “going paperless” has increased our overall effectiveness. We use less paper, collaborate more, and get paid faster — all good things, right? Here are six steps we’ve taken to get here.
1. Share and annotate docs online
The need to print documents and edit them with highlighters and red pens isn’t necessary anymore. We create all our docs using Google Apps and share them via Google Drive. By sharing docs, we collaborate much more effectively. Often, multiple users will edit a doc simultaneously… sometimes at the same time.
Speaking of shared docs — how can we avoid talking about Dropbox? We use Dropbox to share files like images, videos, client documents, and evergreen documents like our design portfolio. Why waste time emailing large files back and forth when everyone can access a shared folder? Internal information and client info can be shared with anyone who needs it as long as they are granted permission to access it.
2. Stream computer screens in meetings
Being in a creative environment, we have meetings and presentations all the time. Rather than printing and passing around meeting docs, the host simply projects them onto TVs in our conference rooms using Apple TV and AirPlay. We’re visual people, so being able to see everything for our own eyes allows us to learn faster and get involved more easily.
3. Virtualize expense tracking
Not every employee has access to a company card, so when things are purchased and need to be expensed it can be a bit of a pain. If you use a system like we do, such as ExpenseCloud, the stacks of receipts and stapled forms will never haunt you again. The service (which has its own app) makes payments easy and headache free. Simply take a snapshot of your receipt and submit it to be approved. You’ll get your money back into your bank account with direct deposit as well. Our employees receive everything thanks to Bill.com. The outdated system of receiving a tangible check and having to bring it to the bank to deposit is old news.
4. Bill paperlessly (get paid faster)
Billing, like expense tracking, has historically been another paper-hog. We bill clients via FreshBooks, which is a cloud accounting tool that is able to manage invoices and keep your finances in order. How do we know how much our clients are being billed for? We keep track of time and work being done for clients with Harvest. Since we bill hourly, there needs to be some type of order to make sure everything is being conducted in the most logical manner.
5. Use project management software
The work that’s being done for said clients needs to be done at the highest quality since we have a reputation of delivering only quality services. We use Pivotal Tracker in order to manage all of the projects that are being worked on. We have offices in New York, Chicago and London so it’s essential for us to have an organized system to keep everybody on the same page. Our project managers use this handy device to assign tasks to developers and designers and to keep track of progress.
6. Never sign a printed doc!
Last but not least is one of our favorite things, EchoSign. This secure tool allows documents to be signed without having to deal with pen and paper. The electronic signature process keeps tabs of everything and organizes all signed documents. Losing a signed paper is no longer an issue- with EchoSign, your most important forms will always be available at your fingertips, literally, since clients can sign with their fingers on an iPad.
We don’t like to push our practices on others, but we’ve become big advocates of going paperless. Give it a shot — you won’t regret it.
Chrissy Giglio is a writer at Fueled, an award winning iPhone application development firm based in New York City.