PAPER, PAPER EVERYWHERE!! I love the idea of a “paperless office”…and I have tried to adopt the electronic world for the last 20+ years. Really! I got my first computer in I think 1986…years before many of my friends had home PC’s. I even remember some DOS language…no matter how hard I have tried to forget it. I battled through Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, (thankfully I missed Windows ME), Windows XP, Windows Vista…and finally now Windows 7. But I am still up to my armpits in PAPER!
So, in trying to analyze why, I have come to the conclusion that the WORLD is not ready to go paperless…and I live here. Solutions are plenty…but not all practical. I often have to print directions for my hubby. We could get another Garmin…but do we really need two? Our MLS system prints second pages A LOT. I have no control over that. I can print a different MLS version…but it is not the one that is most user friendly for me and my clients. So there’s a big paper waste on a daily basis. We even reuse the paper in the “family” printer…but that just means I have touched the same piece of paper THREE times. Once to load it originally, one to remove it from one stack and put in the other stack…and again to load it into the other printer.
I have mastered (and have taught others to master) the wonderful world of .PDF. The best way hands down to share data that ALMOST everyone can open. WORD documents are a thing of the past as far as I am concerned. Incompatible versions can be a real issue. Plus…not everyone has WORD. There are many FREE programs to convert your documents into the friendly .PDF format. I just wish more folks would take a few minutes to download and USE them.
But…back to ME! I have a tablet PC which allows clients to sign on the computer…just like signing a piece of paper. But do I always have it with me? No. It is cumbersome and heat sensitive…and I live in the desert.
So here is my “1/4th of the way through the New Year” resolution. I have a new 2.6 pound netbook I WILL take with me whenever I am meeting clients. I WILL continue to use the FABULOUS service called DOCUSIGN to get electronic signatures whenever possible. I WILL encourage others to NOT give me paper if possible. For example…do I really need a hard copy of inspection reports? No. I will request the inspectors just send me a digital version. If they are unable to do this…I may have to reconsider if I will continue to include that inspector in my “preferred vendor” list.
My hope is that putting this in “writing” will make it all come true. It’s like goal setting. FIRST…WRITE IT DOWN! But NOT on paper please! 😉