At Add Insight, we strive to be a paperless office although I still find reading on paper, and in particular books, to be more enjoyable. In order to save information paperlessly, we use three different tools for different reasons. In 2017 I plan to streamline that process even further.
For client files, we use Citrix Sharefile which backs up in a secure cloud all the important documents and work papers. Sharefile is business class and as secure as you can get. Should my laptop get stolen, I can immediately lock it and wipe it clean. With Sharefile and QuickBooks Online, I can be back to work as quickly as it takes me to buy a new laptop. I can also share a folder with each client that we can use to send files back and forth. In 2017, I will be inviting each of my clients to their own folder in hopes that they can become paperless as well.
I also use Evernote although I know I am not using it to its full capacity. Evernote has amazing search features (one of the benefits of going paperless). In 2017, I plan to make better use of that tool. What I use most often is the ability to save an article from the web, first by creating a clean version stripped of all the advertising and then saving it as a PDF along with the link back to the site where I found the article. I do a lot of reading of business related websites and I often want to save pages I find so that I can easily reference them and maybe even share them with you. Enter your email address here and get free Premium level Evernote.
Lastly, to go paperless, I use dropbox. It is the easiest for sharing and working collaboratively. It is not as secure as Sharefile unless you buy the business class, so I use it for non-critical information storage. For example, I am working on a book about my great aunt’s volunteer service in France in World War One and collaborating with my cousin who lives 100 miles away. We can easily share and edit in real time. There is a free version and a $99.00 a year version. Learn more here.
The Dropbox problem and the solution:
I discovered the hard way, that all my dropbox files, and with genealogy and the book there were many, were also taking up space on my hard drive. Then I discovered the way around that. You can selectively sync your folders to your hard drive and leave the rest of them accessible in the cloud. Mind-blowing. It is called, wait for it, Selective Sync. The New York Times recently mentioned it and Dropbox has a link here.