Going Paper-Lite in a Modern Workplace
With more organisations moving into collaborative working spaces where the hot desk shuffle and minimised storage challenge us on a daily basis…we need to find a way to keep organised and reduce the amount of “stuff” we cart around. Whether that is from desk to desk, project to project or job to job. Going paper-lite is a way to make this transition successful.
As a self-confessed mini hoarder (I prefer gatherer), I was prone to keeping any reference material – just in case, keeping emails – just in case. The truth is – I rarely referred to them again – other than the odd template or two that I have used often.
But in the age of reducing or eliminating print and recycle reuse philosophy, I had to find a better way. I also needed to find a way in which I could find it again – as I could never remember where I had stored it “safely”.
Enter the OneNote Notebook. It changed my life. I provided me with the ‘keep if necessary” storage spot, but also the “find it quickly” functionality. It also eliminates the need for me to print and store hard copies of anything.
Now don’t get me wrong. It was a transition over time and I did come to it kicking and screaming originally – and continued to use a paper notebook “just in case” or just because I preferred it. But within a month I was all in.
The fact that I can access my numerous notebooks from my mobile while in the taxi, or on my iPad whilst I sit on my back deck (most likely with a wine/coffee) gave me a great deal of freedom. But the greatest freedom is being able to print to OneNote. So now whenever I want to keep something I simply print by choosing Print to OneNote instead of printing to a printer. This creates a graphic image just like a printout, which I can draw on, add a to-do list to or write some notes about.
The other choice is to use the Send to OneNote function. This is a button on the ribbon and unlike Print, it will add the text of my print or email and will include any attachments if there are any. I can print anything – Word or Excel documents, PowerPoint presentations and PDFs by choosing, File Print like I normally would and then choosing Print to OneNote
I can also find anything again later with the powerful search capability even with PDFs and documents and it will search across all my notebooks in seconds. This is much faster than me shuffling through my pile of paperwork
Paper-lite and Team Collaboration
I also love OneNote for team collaboration. When someone sends me an email that relates to a project we are working on (which luckily, is rare) and the rest of the project team may need to know about it, instead of forwarding it to them – and adding it to their email noise, I will print it to the project notebook that is created at the start of the project. This way we all know about it and the appropriate person can action it.
It is also the place where we keep all our client project and meeting notes together. So, if someone new comes on board, there is a centralised place where they can come up to speed. In conjunction with Microsoft teams, the Notebook is added as a tab along with any other tools we need for that project for everyone to access in one space.
Getting personal with Paper-Lite
I now use it in my personal life, when I am going on holidays or need to organise an event, I create a notebook. For travel, I start with a research section, noting all the things I have been recommended or want to do. Then I create a Planning tab and move or link things from the research section and plan out the holiday. When all the tickets and itineraries start flooding my inbox, I simply print them to the notebook, so I can access the details in one place easily, whether it is hotel address details, transit times or ticket details. All this is done via my mobile phone with no need to lug a computer or notebook with me with lots of paperwork.
I can print or take photos of important information, such as visa or licence details. If anything gets stolen, I can access my notebook from any internet café and have all the details available to me.
I can also take epic scenery shots along the way, on my phone straight to my notebook and add blog notes immediately and so I don’t need to try and remember where I was when the photo was taken. I can share the notebook with family members so that they can live vicariously through my awesome trip.
So not only am I being environmentally friendly by not killing trees, I am saving myself from having to lug paper around with me. I used to have paper stuck into physical notebooks – which when accidentally dropped – was not a pretty sight. I also save myself heaps of time because having everything in one place just makes it easier. I know that by printing my emails to OneNote – I can search and find them easily but I can see them in the context of other documents or notes that they relate to, that I may have also added to the OneNote.
Paper Lite wrap up
I can honestly say I have now not printed for 18 months and often don’t even carry a pen but would be absolutely lost without my OneNote.
We have recently worked with a number of clients who are on the PaperLite journey, so my personal experience and need to keep myself organised allowed me to share some how to’s to help make this happen.
Give going PaperLite a try with OneNote – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Further Reading – Articles by Jenn
The 4 Ds of email management
Follow this simple approach applying the 4D’s of email management to get a cleaner Office 365
Making Microsoft Outlook control your inbox
Why not get Microsoft Outlook Rules to do all the hard work for you! Here is how to get started.