While 12 step programs exist for plenty of things, you might not know that there’s a simple 12 step program to transform your cluttered law office into a neat paperless law office! Here are the 12 easy steps to help cut your costs, increase your efficiency, and go paperless.
First things first, sit down and decide how you are going to implement your paperless law office plan. There are many ways to frame it if you are working with skittish lawyers, so try calling the paperless plan a paper saving project or a cost savings trial. Make sure that before you get started you know what you need to keep, how long you need to keep it for, and in what format you should keep it in.
2. Plan to Train
Getting rid of paper means using technology more frequently, so make sure that everyone working in your law office has proper training in all of the appropriate programs, including Word, Adobe Acrobat, and any other software you use.
3. Don’t Print, But Spend Money On Printing
This sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. Stop printing, but buy an expensive printer that uses very expensive ink. This is the best way to get everyone in the office to think about every single page they print. Make sure that extra things are not being printed and follow the rule “if it came in digital, it stays in digital.”
4. Get a Desktop Scanner
Another way to ease the transition to a paperless law office is getting a desktop scanner to convert existing paper documents to digital.
5. Do the Plan!
This step sounds silly, but many people skip right over it. Stick to the plan, even if it is hard to implement initially! Scan, send, and shred!
6. Convert Everything to Digital
Along with steps 4 and 5, scan everything possible and convert it to digital. Don’t print prebills, for example. Deliver them as PDFs, teach attorneys how to mark them in Adobe Acrobat, and stop purchasing pre-printed letterhead and envelopes.
7. Ditch the Fax Machine
Fax machines are antiquated paper-wasters, so stop using it! Make sure to remove your fax number from your business cards and email signatures as well to make your paperless law office transition easy for you and your clients.
8. Use Adobe Acrobat
Acrobat will become your best friend as you adapt to a paperless world. Make sure that everyone is familiar with the application and feel free to put some of your paper and ink budget you won’t need towards training classes!
9. Have a Document Management System
Just like you had a document management system for paper, you need a document management system for digital files. Everything should go into the document management system and it should be easily searchable.
10. Scan Incoming Mail
Give another desktop scanner to your receptionist or mailroom clerk so that they can scan the relevant mail as it comes in.
11. Create Digital Signature Stamps
Create a digital version of signatures so that they can be applied to documents as necessary. This eliminates the wasteful step of printing something digital to sign it and rescan it into the digital format.
12. Set Up Remote Access
Last but not least, set up remote access so that people accustomed to taking stacks of paper home with them to work can still do so—the paper is just digital this time!
Paperless Law Office Transition Technology from Micro Records
Micro Records can help your business upgrade your meetings and technology with the latest in paperless technology. For more information about how we can help your business utilize proactive monitoring, transition to doing things digitally, get rid of sensitive documents securely, or benefit from new technology solutions, visit us online or give us a call at (877) 410-SCAN. For more tips on transitioning your business to paperless document management, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Flickr.