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How to Create a Paperless Office

Create an environmentally-friendly office that keeps your life and files organized and manageable.


  • Step 1: Back up existing files Back up your existing files by saving everything on your hard-drive to an external hard-drive.
  • TIP: If you don’t have an external hard drive, you can use online storage or CD-ROMs
  • Step 2: Create document folders Create document folders with the same titles as those in your filing cabinet.
  • Step 3: Scan hard-copy documents into .doc or .pdf files Scan existing hard-copy documents as .doc or .pdf files and place them in folders.
  • TIP: Scan only what you’ll need going forward. Many of your old files might never be used, and can be weeded out as new documents come in.
  • Step 4: Regularly scan new documents Routinely scan new hard-copy documents that come to your office, and save them to your electronic filing system.
  • Step 5: Install fax software Install fax software onto your computer. Generate faxes from your computer, and take incoming faxes electronically.
  • Step 6: Back up regularly Back up your files regularly to an external hard drive, an online internet back-up, or CD-ROM. Initiate nightly automatic backups.
  • FACT: Did you know? A study has indicated that producing one metric ton of virgin paper in North America produces over four metric tons of carbon dioxide.

You Will Need

  • A computer
  • An external hard-drive
  • A scanner
  • Fax software
  • Online storage (optional)
  • CD-ROMs (optional)

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