One of the many challenges of working from home is finding a space of your own. Spare rooms are usually so full of junk (or more toys!) that you can only just about wedge a little desk into the corner. Or you might end up working from the sofa or dining table like I do.
Where ever you manage to work you probably won’t have much space for files and paperwork. This is where creating a paperless working environment comes in handy and it’s becoming a more and more popular way of working.
Paperless working is the way forward for many offices, and it can also really benefit mums working from home.
Paper-free offices can save you time and money as well as space. But how can you create yourself a paperless working environment?
When you work for yourself you need to be meticulous about filing and accounts as there’s no one else to do it for you. Everything is probably saved nicely on your laptop but what if your child spills their drink all over it and it dies?
There’s no need to print and file away hard copies like you might have had to do in an office environment before, especially with so many other options available.
Dropbox is an online file store that can sync with a folder on your laptop and can be accessed from anywhere. There’s an app for both iPhone and Android. A basic account is free and you can upgrade if you run out of space.
External hard drives and memory sticks are really useful for backing up your work, they’re portable and free up space on your laptop. They used to be quite expensive but you can get a 1TB external hard drive for around £50 on Amazon.
If you have to send contracts out to clients there’s no need to print and sign them anymore. With software like DocuSign and Adobe Sign you can digitally sign documents and get clients to do the same.
I’m quite new to using two monitors but couldn’t do without it now. In the past I have always had to print documents if I needed to refer to notes but with dual monitors you can have the notes open on one screen and the document your typing into open on the other – no need for printing.
This is where my paperless working environment usually breaks! I am a big writer of notes and lists, and I find that I remember things much better if I’ve written them down. If you want to go totally paperless then an app like Evernote will allow you to take your notes on your phone or tablet rather than on paper. I’ve started using this app but definitely need a bit more practice to get me out of the habit of pen and paper.
So what do you think, could you work in a completely paper-free environment?
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