Going Green: The Paperless Professional

green recycleGoing completely paperless is now a realistic option to making your work life more friendly on the planet and more efficient in general. Services such as web-based faxing, and email, give us the benefit of eliminating paper, preserving natural resources and saving you money. Ditching excess paper streamlines many business practices, eliminates clutter and adds searchablity, and data protection.


Web-based faxing services have been around for a while, and services out there include GreenFax and MyFax. To make the most out of virtual fax capabilities,you need to make a digitized version of your signature on a transparent background. The next time you need to sign something and fax it back, you’ll able to do it without printing anything.


Most mailed paper bills can be eliminated with e-billing. Opting out of direct marketing (i.e. junk mail) and pre-approved credit card offers (call 1-888-5-OPTOUT) will also help reduce the amount of paper coming into your mailbox.

You don’t have to just receive e-bills, but you can generate them, too. Invoicing software like QuickBooks generates invoices that you can email.

Schedules & Calendars

With applications like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook your schedule is available and up-to-date wherever you go. Online task managers like Google Tasks can keep you on top of all of your to-do lists for a project without using a scrap of paper.

Mobile Tools

Your cell phone is one of the easiest tools to help you banish the paper build up. A variety of iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps allow you to invoice, manage tasks, and handle scheduling. In fact, there are apps that turn your phone into a document or business card scanner, getting rid of the need to bring paper back home with you.


Going paperless is great, but backing up all of the important documents that you make digital is a no-brainer. There are many devices and services available to help you keep your important files backed up regularly.

Other Green Tips:

You can really phase out paper from your daily routines by trying some of these extra tips: Replace your sticky notes with reusable adhesive dry-erase sheets. Also consider eliminating the paper from your morning coffee ritual with reusable filters and a travel mug, instead of the paper cups from the cafe. Did you know you can also have your favorite newspaper delivered to you in a matter of minutes anywhere in the world? Devices like the Kindle and Nook enable you to take advantage of digitally published newspapers and books. In fact, many authors and editors are now ePublishing many of their books and publications. Finally, if there’s still paper you just can’t cut out of your life; reuse it as scratch paper, recycle it or add it to your compost.

What technology or tactics do you use to avoid using paper?