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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Using Technology to Minimize Your Environmental Footprint

Do you print out documents and emails?

How much printer paper do you use over the course of a year?

Have you ever considered the impact of your printing habits on the environment?

Since this is Earth Week, please take a moment to ponder these facts:

Paper accounts for 42% of industrial forest use.

Americans use more than 50 million tons of paper each year, consuming more than 850 million trees.

Paper fills up 30-40% of American landfill space.

As paper decomposes in landfills or is burned in incinerators, chemicals from its inks are released into the environment.

(Source: Software Partners and Save the Environment!)

If you're wondering what these statistics have to do with organizing, here's some more for you. According to Relativity, Inc.:

75-85% of business documents are in paper form.

The average document is copied 5 times.

The average worker spends 50-80% of his/her time looking for information.

In other words, when you use a lot of paper, you're not only hurting the planet, you're hindering your own productivity.

After all, to find something in your paper files, you have to remember where you filed it AND hope that you actually did file it there. If not, you will waste a lot of time shuffling through various documents to find the one you need. Even if it's in the correct file folder, if there are a lot of documents in that file, it can still take quite a while to locate the one you're looking for.

The answer to both problems can be solved by going paperless, as much as is practical.

One of the major benefits to electronic filing is that you don't have to rely on your filing system to locate the information you need. Simply search on a keyword and within seconds your computer will find it for you. No more worries about misfiling, torn papers, or smudges. If you still want an organized filing system for your electronic documents, you can save a lot of planning and set-up time by using a software program called OrganizeMY Electronic Filing Cabinet for Dummies. When you install it on your system, it creates a set of folders to correspond to the type of information saved by typical users. The Personal version includes a number of financial and household categories, while the Professional version also includes popular small business categories. Even better is the fact that you're not restricted to these categories, but can rename and delete them according to your needs.

Another thing that's great about this product is that you can also add scanned documents, emails, contacts, reminders, and web pages, and these will all be accessible through one screen related to a particular topic.

posted on: 4/23/2009 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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