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Revisiting the Paperless Office with Joe Kissell

It has been almost three years since Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Your Paperless Office” rolled off our virtual presses (see “‘Take Control of Your Paperless Office’ Reduces Pulp Friction,” 17 November 2010), and things in the paperless world have changed a bit since then. No, not Joe’s basic strategies for shrinking to manageable size the piles of paper that modern life can heap upon us, but rather, the available tools and services that can help us clear them away. In the just-released “Take Control of Your Paperless Office, Second Edition” (available for $10 in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket formats
— but not on paper!), Joe guides readers through the steps of turning the deluge of paper flowing through the modern office and home into a trickle.

For those who have already undertaken the move to a reduced-paper world, Joe shows how to examine your procedures and tools with an eye toward streamlining your workflows and increasing your efficiency in response to the changes – some good, some not — that have taken place in the past few years.

Among the changes for the better during that time are:

  • Improvements in scanners
  • Better screens, including Retina displays
  • More options for OCR (optical character recognition) software
  • Higher quality cameras on mobile devices
  • More cloud services with broader capabilities

At the same time, additional challenges to eliminating paper have emerged, such as:

  • More significant privacy risks and stricter legal requirements pertaining to documents
  • Changes to Adobe Acrobat Pro that complicate automation of OCR

For new readers who have yet to embark on a paper-reduction journey, Joe explains how to:

  • Shrink the amount of paper that reaches you in the first place
  • Choose the right scanner for your situation
  • Pick OCR software that meets your needs
  • Get your software and hardware working together
  • Create an incoming paper workflow that is convenient and effective for you
  • Develop strategies to reduce or eliminate paper already on hand — without making yourself crazy
  • Use mobile technologies and cloud services to process paper even when you are away from your paperless office

As he explains in the introduction, Joe is no enemy of paper. On the other hand, he has moved across the Atlantic – twice — and is intimately familiar with how much paper can accumulate if you give it half a chance. His book is the product of hard-earned experience accumulated in his efforts to de-clutter his own life. At 147 (virtual) pages, “Take Control of Your Paperless Office, Second Edition” is a useful addition to anyone’s (virtual) bookshelf of practical volumes.

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