by Michelle Cady-Cook, Director of Marketing, Cady Reporting Services
Imagine: A paperless office…While there are very few offices in the world that are truly paperless, there are steps that law firms and you personally can take towards having a paperless (or maybe a less-paper) office. In the words of Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
What do paperless office procedures do for you?
- Increase your efficiency.
How much time have you spent searching for that paper that you “know is here somewhere”? It is much easier to organize your files electronically. You can cross-index individual files so they can be a part of multiple cases. You can also organize and reorganize files whenever and however you would like.
- Save money on your storage costs.
As we accumulate more and more paper we also increase storage costs. If we have our documents stored electronically, not only will we reduce storage needs and costs, but it will be easier and cheaper to transmit our files to anyone else who may need them. Not only is it cheaper to store files electronically, but you can sleep better at night knowing that your documents are protected against fires, flood and other types of loss by having your files safely backed up in several locations.
- Scanned files are portable.
One of the challenges that busy paralegals, secretaries and attorneys face is the fact that there are only so many hours in a day. One benefit of going paperless is the ability to work no matter where you are. If there is a large case with many documents, it can be very cumbersome to deal with. If your files were stored on a DepoLaunch* CD, it would be easy whenever you had a few minutes, to just pop it in and work no matter where you were. (And with DepoLaunch you can even have the video file with you as well.)
- Easier collaboration
Whether you work in a small or large firm, electronic files can make it easier to collaborate. Sending files back and forth via email or posting shared files on a local server negates the need for sharing paper copies and all of the hassle of keeping track of files and making sure all copies are complete and updated.
- Utilize search capabilities.
When you have all your files stored electronically, you can utilize the
impressive power of desktop search software. Using this software (which will index all your files), you can locate relevant information. Desktop search software will search the text of your files so you can find arguments made by your attorney in earlier briefs and motions, and you can go right to the relevant spot in a long file. Just imagine if you have 500 pages of medical records in a case and you are looking for a specific entry. I’m sure you would agree that searching a file is much easier than searching through 500 pieces of paper.
- Save the planet.
By going the paperless route, you can reduce paper consumption, thereby saving trees and reducing pollutants to our environment. As an additional benefit, you also reduce your costs by ordering less paper.
- Scanned documents can make your clients happier.
When the client calls and needs information from a specific document, you can find it right away instead of hanging up and getting back to them within the next week. If you have a searchable document, you will be less likely to miss key points. Your greater efficiency and accuracy will make clients happy, which makes the boss happy, which make you an indispensable assistant.
It is 2014. What a great time to allow technology to make your life easier.
*Depolaunch is a self-running CD/DVD which stores your deposition transcript, exhibits and video. It is a proprietary product of the NNRC. Cady Reporting is the Cleveland affiliate of the NNRC.