Making paperless more possible

When I sat down to write this post about Imaging101, a south Florida tech company that helps offices move towards paperless, I naturally googled “paperless office”. One of the first hits… Malcolm Gladwell endorses a book called “The Myth of the Paperless Office”.  And there you have it… all of my posts are somehow related to Malcolm Gladwell. He is the new Kevin Bacon. While that is an interesting tidbit, it’s not the main point of this post…

Even better than citing an example of how Malcolm Gladwell is like Kevin Bacon, is to disagree with him! I not only think it’s possible that we go paperless, but imperative. Obviously, the save-the-trees side of me wants the world to go paperless so we can, uh, save more trees. However, I do have pragmatic reasoning to share as well. Paper is messy. It’s easy to misplace. It’s easy to destroy. It doesn’t tie into electronic mail and calendar systems. Paper is inefficient!

That’s why, as a fan of people and companies that combine passion with pragmatism, I have to take my hat off to Imaging101. Owner Jacob Russo doesn’t try to sell you the fairytale that your office can become completely paperless. Their motto is “as paperless as possible”. In fact, if you were to visit Imaging101’s office, you would still find some paper there, but you wouldn’t find any filing cabinets. Yep, more brownie points: the company drinks its own kool-aid, using their own product to scan and electronically file all of their documents.

The other part of Imaging101’s mission that struck me as admirably pragmatic is they realize the war on paper must take place on several fronts: turning analog documents into digital; creating an efficient process for finding, sharing, and annotating digital documents; and providing web-based document backup should any kind of disaster strike. I am sure that we would be shocked if we had numbers on how many small and medium sized businesses do not have a backup plan in place.

While Imaging101 helps its customers fight off paper clutter on all three fronts, I can’t imagine taking on the human desire to hit the print button. Striking a chord on the pain of personal experience is a strong motivator though. Can you think of a single person that the grim reaper of document loss has spared? If you can, have them buy you a lottery ticket. If you can’t, then you know that feeling you get right after pleading with your higher power to magically replace the document you need… you kick yourself and swear that you’ll set up a digital document management plan. If you are a small or medium-sized business, I’m just saying that plan might be Imaging101.