Office Paperwork Evolved, from Game of Thrones to Grey’s Anatomy

Even in a digital world, businesses are still forced to handle mounds of paper documents. This post from our friends at RightSignature outlines just how far we have come since the early days of dreaded “paperwork.”

This is a guest post by RightSignature, a web service that provides the easiest, fastest way to get documents signed online.

Let’s look up from our computers for a second and think of a simpler time, before electronic documents allowed our businesses to communicate literally at light speed. If you had a message to send, rather than firing off an email, you’d simply write it on a scrap of paper, then tie that note to the foot of a bird. Your response would arrive days, or even weeks later—possibly including a body part as an “attachment”.

Luckily for us, today we live in a significantly more modern world. Our technology could solve the problems of many classic stories. Imagine how Romeo and Juliet might end if the two had smartphones: Juliet texts “i’m not really dead LOL,” and one of Western literature’s greatest tragedies is averted. Thankfully, we can also use fiction to troubleshoot the problems we find in our professional lives. Let’s take a look at the evolution of paperwork through the greatest lens on our culture: television.

Winter is Coming for Paper Documents

The show: Game of Thrones

The time period: Medieval-ish? Actually, we’re not quite sure

The problem: Slow, expensive, insecure documents

In the Kingdom of Westeros, setting for HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones, the most important messages are delivered by trained ravens. We have just one question: what happens if it’s raining? Actually, we have a few more questions, mostly related to the cost of raising and training a fleet of messenger birds.

 As a result, important, official communications are plagued by a number of problems shared by anyone in today’s world still using overnight shipping, fax machines, or mail. Where a raven could take days or weeks to deliver that essential NDA or timely sales contract, RightSignature electronic signature software delivers documents for a legally binding, e-signature instantly.

A messenger bird can also get lost or be caught by someone else, but RightSignature’s biometrically enhanced electronic signatures protect your document’s security and authenticity. And, of course, what happens if you run out of ravens? RightSignature offers unlimited document sending, so you never have to worry about your business becoming too successful to keep up.

Compared to shipping or faxing your important paperwork, and the uncertainty it holds, RightSignature offers the perfect solution for instant, secure electronic signatures—all for less than a bucket of birdseed.

Don Draper and the Mountain of Paper

The Show: Mad Men

The Time Period: The 1960’s

The Problem: Paper records and receipts lead to inefficient extra work

AMC’s drama Mad Men is a marvel of aesthetic precision. Everything from the world of high-powered business in the 1960’s is preserved—from the overt racism and sexism to the fleets of secretaries and copyists on typewriters, pounding out every word and work order onto endless stacks of indelible paper. Is this any way we’d want to live today?

 With a reliance on paper records comes the need to sort, store, and search through giant file cabinets, which only grow as your business grows. Particularly troublesome are receipts—those little scraps of paper add up in a big way. You need them to track your business’s expenses, but sorting and storing them all is next to impossible. Not without Shoeboxed.

Shoeboxed lets you throw out all that clutter for a high-powered cloud storage solution. Simply scan your receipts yourself with the handy Shoeboxed app, or physically mail a bundle of receipts to Shoeboxed and they’ll handle the rest. Shoeboxed uploads your receipts into secure online storage, where you can search and sort them with the click of a mouse—no more wading through file cabinets.

Best of all, Shoeboxed makes your receipts ready for all your other needs. Shoeboxed receipts are fully IRS compliant for painless tax filing. And thanks to integrations with software like Quickbooks or RightSignature, you can import your expenses to your online accounting software, or get expense reports signed online effortlessly.

Grey’s Technology: Your Work Transformed

The Show: Grey’s Anatomy

The Time Period: Present day

The Problem: None!

When the latest season of ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy ditched the paperwork and gave the main characters tablets, it might have felt like a stretch at first. Was this simply window dressing to make the show and its young cast appear modern? Or would the new technology change their work for the better?

 If you dig a bit behind the scenes, the answer to the second question is a solid “yes”. Meredith Grey and her cohort use their tablets to access patients’ medical histories and other vital information with a simple tap on the touchscreen. This embrace of modern technology makes Grey’s Anatomy run smoother, allowing the characters to focus on the surgery, not the paperwork. This makes for not only better medicine, but better television, as well.

What could a similar paperless initiative and commitment to modern technology can do for your business? Don’t run your business like the Medieval times, or get stuck in the 60’s. Take a cue from the TV: RightSignature and Shoeboxed can help lead your business to the present, and into the future.