A paperless office (or paper-free office) is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced. This is done by converting documents and other papers into digital form, a process known as digitization. (https://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/Paperless_office)
Going paperless is the best move you will ever make!
It means NO MORE:
Missing or checked out documents lying idle on someone's desk.
Lost office space to an ugly file room.
Paying for Archive Storage.
Having to go to the Archive to retrieve documents.
Huge toner and paper costs.
Need for expensive printers.
It also means LESS:
Printer repair costs.
Time looking for documents.
Time waiting to get into the filing cabinets (as there are none).
Physical storage space.
Frustration, therefore happier workers.
Quick easy access to your documents.
Streamlined document control.
Easier Backup and recovery options.
OF COURSE, LESS TIME, LESS COST, HAPPIER YOU, HAPPIER CLIENT!
The perfect paperless office is one where no documents are stored in a paper format, and documents are stored in an electronic format. Any kind of file can be stored in the Paperless directories, including spreadsheets, word documents HTML documents, etc. Documents that replace your printed documents should be stored as a PDF file. The PDF file becomes your historical published document. You will still sometimes want a printed copy for desk checking, cross referencing to other reports, or simply because you want to make notes on the document. Simply print out the documents you want. (Comment: You can make notes on the PDF file stored in your document manager, or print your file, write notes on it, then scan that back into the system.)
Why do you want to store the (previously paper) documents as a PDF file?
PDF Files are the industry standard. You can open a PDF file with multiple different operating systems, and different computer platforms. (i.e. Linux, Windows, Apple OS etc.)
PDF files are electronically dated. This provides evidence should you need to look for a publish date. Excel files have the date changed when the file is opened, even if you have not done changes
PDF Files remain as they were when published. An Excel file for instance, can be changed when:
You update your Excel to a new version.
You change a formula.
You, a pet, or another person accidently deletes something from your spreadsheet.
Corruption of the spreadsheet file occurs.
Power issue damages the spreadsheet.
The dreaded auto system update leaves your spreadsheet damaged.
So, in summary, everything is more organized and easier to find. Documents are easier and cheaper to produce and store, multiple parties can access the files, system locks the file if someone else is updating it, less frustration, less effort, less time.