Frequently, I find myself recommending “web apps” or “cloud services” – essentially, tools and applications that live online, of which there are thousands. These tools require no installation, and are accessible from any computer that has internet access. Many of the services out there are, frankly, not that great – either their interface is clunky, their site is buggy, or their service just plain doesn’t offer much utility. You don’t want to spend your time figuring out which tools are worth it and which ones are not – so I’ve done it for you. Here are some of my favorite tools that I use myself and with my clients to help them better manage their paper:
OfficeDrop – It can be a real struggle to try and go paperless – scanning documents into your computer can take a lot of time, and keeping track of electronic bills, receipts, and purchases can be tricky. Enter OfficeDrop, a service that scans your archival and current papers and will also import your electronic records as well. This is an ideal service if you are trying to get rid of paper, are constantly on the go and never get to your paper, or are simply trying to organize all your documents into one cohesive, searchable system.
Expensify – Whether you’re a solo professional in a service business, an employee in a larger company, or something in between, keeping track of receipts and expenses can be a total drag. In most cases, lost and disorganized receipts mean lost money – either money that’s supposed to be reimbursed to you or money that you were supposed to deduct at tax time. Most of us keep our receipts in a box, bag, or shoved in a wallet or glovebox, and then we have to spend hours or days sorting and categorizing them. Not fun! Expensify connects with your bank to download your spending data, categorize it, and quickly create reports that you can then use internally, with clients for expense tracking, or with employers for reimbursement.
MyFax – Since I run a green-certified business (www.sfgreenbusiness.org), I’m always looking for ways to save supplies, energy, and paper – not to mention time and steps. When it comes to faxing, I prefer electronic paper-free fax services to having a fax machine and a dedicated fax line. While there are a number of services that offer electronic faxing, MyFax is more full-featured and easier to use than most. For instance, you can send and receive faxes from any email-enabled device, including your smartphone, and the MyFax web control panel lets you view all your sent and received faxes for an entire year. It’s slick.
These are just a few of the tools that I use and recommend. What are some of your favorites?
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