Productivity can be affected in many ways and by many different factors. Recently, I was discussing going paperless with one of my colleagues and wondered if there was a correlation to productivity.
Often times when you speak with someone who keeps “papers” of the things that are important to them, whether they be notes, pictures, documents, etc. they will tell you that they know exactly where everything is. If challenged they can usually prove it! The same is typically true for someone who maintains all of their information electronically, however, just as we can have file cabinets with many drawers, there are many more “drawers” we can keep our digital information in. Dropbox, OneDrive, Facebook just to name a few.
I would suspect that both groups on either side of the “paperless” fence would argue that their productivity levels remain high when locating and working with their information. In trying to determine which solution would yield the highest amount of productivity I thought of some potential issues that I have seen with both approaches. First of all, with those that have hardcopies of their information, what happens when you leave the information at home or at the office? Do you have to go back to get it? Do you have someone fax/scan/email it to you? Carrying around information in portable file storage boxes is an option but not very practical. In general, portability is impacted with keeping hardcopies. A potential issue seen with having all information electronically is the ability to search across all possible storage locations to find what you are looking for. As I mentioned earlier, most people can remember where they stored something but not always. It also may be easier to search for something when you are using your laptop or desktop computer versus your mobile phone or tablet.
Fortunately, with no clear winner, I did discover a very useful app that could help both groups. In part two, I will introduce you to the Office Lens.