Paperless Office Strategies You Can Implement Today

Last Updated Jun 22, 2010 8:27 AM EDT

Despite the fact that I carry a yellow legal pad everywhere I go to track to-dos and action items, I otherwise live a pretty paper-free existence.

And while it wasn't especially practical to have a paperless office as recently as just 10 years ago, these days it's possible (and even moderately convenient) to be almost completely paperless. Here are a few easy ways to reduce or eliminate dead trees from your office:

Share files online. Not long ago, it was expected that you'd bring enough copies of your document to a meeting so everyone could throw their own copy away as soon as the meeting was over. These days, you can easily put documents in the cloud - a team SharePoint, shared network folder, Skydrive, or some other service - so you can just provide a link.

Put a giant reusable sticky note on the wall. Sticky notes? Really? I walk into so many offices and see the desk covered in a sea of sticky notes that it almost makes me cry. For $50, you can bolt a dry erase board to the wall beside your desk and actually organize all those little notes you're sticking to every flat surface in the room.

Stop faxing. There's almost no excuse to fax anymore. Yes, I realize there are a few specialized industries out there which are still thoroughly invested in faxing. But for everyone else, you can switch to e-mail. Forms can be completed in a PDF tool like the FoxIt PDF Editor and sent digitally. FoxIt costs $99, but you can edit PDFs online for free, using a Web site like PDFescape.

Photo by jurvetson