Going Paperless: Out with the Old, In with the New

Going paperless saves time, money, the environment and the frustration of scouring mounds of paper to find what you need. If you’re ready to kick the paper habit, today’s technology makes it easier to clear the clutter and become more efficient.

You probably have a smartphone, tablet or both. With the ability to view, share, create and sign documents, these are must-have tools for doing business on the go. Placester.com suggests checking out apps like CamScanner for both iOS and Android devices. The app enables you to use your smartphone’s camera to scan contracts, checks and other paperwork.

Old School vs. Electronic Signatures
Every transaction that requires an official signature means another piece of paper to print and store in your files. Recent improvements in electronic signature technology allow you to get documents signed on any computer or device with an Internet connection. Leery about the legality of these electronic signatures? Don’t be. When the U.S. government passed the ESIGN Act in 2000, electronic signatures became as legally binding as handwritten ones.

Placester.com suggests apps like DocuSign, which allows you to sign with your mouse, upload a scanned image of the signature, or sign with your finger. Other e-signature platforms you might want to research include EchoSign, Sertifi and RightSignature.

Scanners Save Space
Still hanging on to your Fax machine and printer? Swap them for a high-quality scanner. Placester says the Fujitsu Scan Snap S1500 is a popular choice among real estate professionals. It’s not inexpensive, but customers give it high marks for its 20-page per minute scans, image processing functions and scan quality. Plus, it comes bundled with copies of Adobe Acrobat, which allows you to create, convert and edit PDF documents and fillable forms.

If you’re looking for a desktop scanner that can function as a portable scanner, PC Magazine suggests the Visioneer Strobe 500, the Canon imageFormula P-150 Scan-tini and the PlanOn DocuPen Xtreme X05.

Better Back Up
It’s important to back up your computer’s hard drive, and an external drive is one way to go. For a list of the top ten external hard drives and their features, visit http://www.datarecoverylabs.com/top-ten-external-hard-drive-data-recovery.html. The cloud is another excellent way to back up your computer files. It offers storage on a secure server and allows you to access your documents from any device. Check out cloud storage services like Dropbox, which enables you to edit docs, add photos from anywhere, securely access your files, share them and more. iCloud is another cloud server you may want to consider.

One-Stop Help
If you think you’d be more comfortable with a single-source paperless solution, Placester.com cites Dotloop as the industry leader in transaction management services. It’s geared specifically toward real estate professionals and provides extensive support for mobile devices. Dotloop “links people, documents and tasks to help you work better together. Everything you need is in one place.” Another transaction management service to consider is Cartavi.

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