I’ll be honest: When someone hands me a sheet of paper, I get kind of annoyed. If I have to turn in a paper or an assignment in hard-copy form, I roll my eyes. Taking a physical test … why?

There seems to be less and less need for paper, and today’s professional needs to manage in a world with less paper in it. There’s the environmental aspect and, frankly, the convenience. If I can carry hundreds of books, papers, etc., on my iPad or even my smartphone, why on earth would I want to carry papers around?

As college graduates head into the workforce, they need to figure out how to effectively go paperless. Here are three tips.

1. Bill electronically

Whether they are run from home or in an office, businesses have bills to pay. Internet, electricity, phone lines, and so on are all essentials of running a business, and many providers of such services can bill electronically.

This cuts down on the amount of paper a company has lying around and makes the process of paying easier. So work on cutting paper out of your office that way, if possible.

2. Work electronically

Invoices, payroll, and accounting can all be handled online now, and they don’t need to print reams of paper anymore. Get the software and someone to run it, and you’ve saved thousands in printing costs and done a good thing for the environment as well.

Most employees (if you have any) like to receive checks via direct deposit, so encourage people to set that up as well, and then don’t print pay stubs — just file them electronically and make sure to back up the information.

3. Contact electronically

Does anyone still use a Rolodex? I’ve never met anyone who actually has one. Phones and computers provide more contact storage than I’d care to think about, and the need for physical phone books or contacts is diminishing.

And sure, you might feel really amazing handing someone a business card, but there’s probably a better option, right? I mean, people hand me cards and they go in my pocket and usually make their way through the laundry.

Now there are apps that take a photo of the card and store all the relevant information: electronic business card apps that make it easy to share and store, and a whole host of other options that don’t include carrying a bunch of wallet-sized pieces of paper around at all times.


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