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The Quest For The Paperless Office

My Way

Believe me, as I watched my movers' backs break, I took their pain as a wake-up call. And I personally resolved to cut back on my own paper. What steps did I take?

I switched all task and event planning from paper to Lotus Organizer. A big plus: It's now easy to rearrange tasks as client needs and priorities shift. Another plus: The data synchs readily with a Palm.

I stopped printing out e-mail, copies of correspondence, and even articles and columns that I write. Aren't I worried my drive will go kaput and I'll lose everything? Nope. I back up the works, online and effortlessly, at Connected.com, for $14.95 a month. Seem like a high fee? Not compared to the cost of filing cabinets, paper and liniment for my movers' backs.

Which system is right? Know that when the will is there, we can cut way back on paper consumption. Maybe it won't be eliminated from our lives and maybe we shouldn't even want that, but with a little diligence, you'll see a giant drop in your personal paper usage. "The real key is finding what works for you," says Hemphill. "Your success depends on your ability to find what you need, when you need it, so you want a system that serves you and the way you work."

What's Hemphill's most important advice? "Whatever system you pick-and there are many ways to organize an office for efficiency-you have to stick with it."

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