This is a guest post by RightSignature, a web service that provides the easiest, fastest way to get documents signed online.
The Terror of Paper
Business is competitive. While skill and tactics most certainly influence outcomes, there is a simpler – and more achievable – factor that determines success for many: productivity. Professionals’ time and resources are limited, and those who manage them most efficiently win.
And yet, for many businesses, there is an age-old tradition that is devouring valuable time, introducing errors, and killing productivity. That tradition is using paper as a means of communicating and archiving business details. Paper is the tired dictator of under-performing companies, stubbornly imposing the status quo and preventing progress (if you haven’t seen Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator, check it out).
The Paper Dictator perpetuates his reign through two common methods: ignorance and fear. Most professionals are unaware that electronic copies of documents are legally valid for most purposes, and they are often afraid to join the paperless revolution.
There’s good news, though: Increasingly popular online software applications are replacing paper processes with super-efficient digital workflows. Two of those services, RightSignature and Shoeboxed, are allies in this “war on paper,” each providing a simple, elegant web-based way to accomplish a task that has previously required handling paper.
The Receipt Battle
The Paper Regime: You receive paper receipts everywhere, all the time. Receipts are the established way to track purchases and prove expenses, and they become critical documents during tax season. Paper slips for every single purchase pile up very, very quickly. Paper receipts are easy to lose, difficult to sort into more meaningful data, and take up a lot of space on your desk or in your filing cabinet. The psychological effects that this clutter has on creativity, happiness, and productivity are significant.
The Shoeboxed Revolution: Shoeboxed converts all of your receipts into digital documents and archives them in your Shoeboxed account, accessible from anywhere. Users have the option of sending receipts to Shoeboxed by mail or scanning receipts themselves by scanner, photo, or mobile device to ensure that no receipt falls through the cracks. Digital receipts are easily searched, sorted, and categorized, and every one is IRS-acceptable. Best of all, those stacks of paper receipts are removed from your life completely, freeing up your desk and boosting your productivity.
The Signature Battle
The Paper Regime: A paper contract or form with a signature has always been the indelible symbol of a closed deal or a binding legal agreement. A signature guarantees the signer’s understanding, commitment, and identity – and that guarantee will be upheld in court, if need be. In an age when more and more business is done online, with contacts out of town or even overseas, two parties sitting down at the same table to sign the same piece of paper is clearly antiquated. Sending a paper document to a signer and waiting for them to sign and return it can take days or weeks – eternity in an era where we are accustomed to communicating instantly. And in situations where many parties need to fill out and sign the same document, these problems are multiplied.
The RightSignature Revolution: Just like Shoeboxed turns clumsy paper receipts into electronic format, RightSignature turns slow, painful paper document signing into a fast, easy, efficient process. Users can upload any document, or even turn their frequently used documents into Reusable Templates. With just a click, documents are sent to one or many parties for electronic signature online. Recipients fill out and sign RightSignature documents on any computer or even a mobile device. And legislation around the world establishes e-signatures as legally equivalent to pen-and-paper signatures, eliminating the need for paper contracts once and for all.
Winning the Battles, Winning the War
While most of us are fervent users of email and the web, there are a handful of business tasks where paper is still the default conduit. Join the revolution by rooting out each of the remaining paper processes in your life, and you’ll improve your productivity – and ultimately your success.