Ernie the Attorney on a Paperless Office

If you have thought about moving toward a paperless workflow but have not yet made the commitment, check out this excellant post from Ernie the Attorney at PDF for Lawyers.

I think his last paragraph hits the point dead on:

If you don’t start purging paper from your desk you’ll never realize the full benefits of scanning.  After a few weeks you’ll start to notice little things about how you used to deal with paper.  Mostly, you’ll learn that people hoard too much paper, keeping it close by in case they need to access information.  Soon you’ll notice that having too much paper around you makes it harder to find information, not easier.  The less paper you have around you the less stress you’ll feel, especially once you learn to trust the paperless system.

I think this is the point most people don’t understand. They think if that if they keep the paper close at hand they can find things more easily. Instead, however, they just end up sorting through more paper to try and find what they want.

Ernie also emphasized another point that I think most people miss, which is that the electronic version of the document, is probably more secure than the paper version. You can lose the paper, or it can be destroyed by fire (or hurricane for that matter). With the electronic version, however, it is easy to have multiple copies of the same document.

For example, on the cases that I am working on, a copy of everything sets on our server. Those copies are regularly backed up as a matter of course. Additionally, for all of my active files, I have a copy of them on my laptop hard drive. The likelihood that all copies of these documents would be destroyed is fairly remote, and certainly much less likely than just the paper version being destroyed.

Check out the rest of Ernie’s post and, if you have not started to make the move to a paperless system, there’s no time like the present to get started.