Third annual ‘World Paper-Free Day’ produces new ideas for more digital businesses

Third annual ‘World Paper-Free Day’ produces new ideas for more digital businesses

On October 25, the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) organized the third annual "World Paper-Free Day," urging people and companies to avoid printing, copying and otherwise producing more paper. In preparation for World Paper-Free Day, AIIM held two "tweet jams" on October 18 and 25, asking Twitter users to share ideas and answer each other's questions about how to move more quickly and seamlessly into a paperless world.

Bryant Duhon, an editor at AIIM, said in a blog post that the purpose of the tweet jam was for "everyone to share ideas about how to become more efficient as a business while removing environmentally harmful paper." A topic that did not come up was that bulk scanning services can help businesses apply digital documentation practices to files that have already been printed.

Questions during the tweet jams included how to use tablets and smartphones for business processes and how businesses are removing paper from everyday use. A study released by AIIM showed that while paper usage is decreasing in most large organizations, it is actually increasing in small offices, despite the known benefits of using digital work spaces. The report also said  "respondents using scanning and capture consider that it improves the speed of response to customers, suppliers, citizens or staff by six-times or more."

Many offices are looking to go paperless, and many universities and college admissions offices already have. According to the student newspaper, the admissions office at Minnesota's Macalester College is pledging to go paperless by 2013. The office will be scanning all teacher recommendations and other items received by mail and adding them to each student's electronic file, as well as use Slate software to organize all admission materials received online.

Even as more businesses transition to digital workplaces, most still rely on paper in some form. By using document scanning services, businesses can digitize information that has already been recorded on paper as they simultaneously move forward with electronic documentation options.