The myth of the paperless office has been around since the dawn of the computer era. The idea that paper could be removed entirely from the every day workflow of most organisations is still somewhat fanciful and yet the concept continues to entrance technology companies and productivity geeks alike. Whether an entirely digital workflow is actually achievable is debatable, however the technology now exists to create a seamless and efficient digital workflow which could dramatically reduce the need to print or store paper, offering considerable potential cost saving and efficiency increases to most organisations.
The good news is, the technology is available in a set of low cost, desktop applications you may already be using: Adobe Acrobat DC, Acrobat Reader and the iOS and Android apps Adobe Scan and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Here are six way you can go about going paperless in your own workplace.
1. Convert paper documents to PDF.
If you don’t have electronic originals or receive lots of paper documents, you can use any scanner to create electronic versions. Bulk document scanners are helpful here as they will simultaneously scan both sides of multiple sheets and combine them into single PDFs. You can also scan and save as PDF from right inSide Acrobat DC using the Enhance Scans function. For people on the go, you can try the Adobe Scan app which will scan documents from your mobile device and synchronise with your Creative Cloud account.
2. Convert scans to editable text.
Having scanned your paper copies, use Acrobat DC’s Enhance Scans feature to convert the content into searchable text. You can then export to plain text or Word documents if you need to do more work.
3. Store and share PDFs in the cloud.
Store your PDFs online through your DC storage account or add on additional cloud services such as DropBox and MS Box. You can then share them with the rest of your team.
4. Collaborate and comment.
Collaborate with colleagues by using Acrobat’s commenting tools to add comments, drawings, images and even audio. You can use Acrobat Pro, Acrobat Reader or the Adobe Acrobat Reader app as part of this process.
5. Create electronic forms.
Convert your paper forms to electronically fillable forms using Acrobat DC’s form wizard. Use it to add text fields, multiple choice options, check boxes, radio buttons and more to PDFs which can then be completed and returned using Acrobat Reader for free.
6. Control how PDFs are used.
Limit unnecessary printing within your organisation by restricting or preventing printing of your PDFs . You can customise how PDFs will be used using Acrobat Pro’s document security options.by