Tackling the Home Office Operation

By Joe Budelli posted 09-01-2010 12:07


Last week I wrote about how our government agencies can streamline their mammoth processes with OCR and, in turn, help the people they were set up to help more quickly and effectively.  Turning the government into a paperless operation is going to take time, literally years, but there are smaller operations that can be converted into a digital, paperless operation in the matter of hours – businesses operating out of your home.

Today’s computer technology, broadband, and mobile devices is allowing for more people to set up their own shop from their homes.  Most home entrepreneurs start working out of a small space, perhaps a spare bedroom, but quickly run out of room when paper boxes filled with invoices, incoming bills, accounting files, receipts, and client records take over.  We have all seen those offices with bludgeoning files everywhere and we wonder how they will ever be able to find anything when a client calls and needs to see a document immediately or when the elusive receipt is needed to complete tax forms.  Okay, admit it, I’m probably describing your office space at home.

Instead of filling them away in a paper file-based system, and I do call that “system” loosely, you can make your office a digital, paperless office.  Even Bryant Duhon, editor for AIIM International, has started a Messiest Desk competition -- check out his blog post at Messiest Desk -- A Competition | Capture Blogs – because too many of us still have too much paper in our offices.

We are becoming more and more digital in the other aspects of our lives, why not make the office in our homes more digital.  Instead of filing away those invoices and receipts, you can place them in a digital format, making them easier to access.  Thanks to searchable PDFs you can find what you are looking for with a few clicks instead of rummaging through that so-called filling system that you have now.  And  I dare say, you could also start going green within your office space.

All you need to start is your computer, office software suite, scanner, a digital camera, and OCR software to convert paper documents into digital images, specifically into Word, Excel or searchable PDFs.  Simply scan invoices, data tables, or whatever into a digital format and you can now search through those images directly from your PC.  You can even attach those files in emails to your clients.  No more retyping or shuffling through stacks of paper.

So after you submit the photo of your desk to Bryant’s messy desk competition, that’s if you have the courage, you can start to turn that office of yours into a paperless office.  For hints of how to start, I recommend checking out this YouTube video, YouTube - Designing Spaces - ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Express.  Trust me that better organized office is going to give you more time to spend on your business or on hitting those golf balls at the driving range.

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