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Cutting Out The Dead Wood Use these methods to reduce the amount of paper you use in your office.

By Lisa Kanarek

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While many home office professionals are taking steps toeliminate or at least reduce the endless streams of paper flowingin and out of their offices, others still face piles of paper,stacks of mail and file cabinets too stuffed to open. By making afew changes in the way you handle information-whether paper-basedor electronic-you can reduce the amount of paper in youroffice.

  • When a piece of paper crosses your desk, make a decision aboutit immediately, rather than stack it on top of or alongside otherpapers. Before you decide to keep a piece of paper, make sureit's information you need to keep for future reference ratherthan something that you need "just in case." If you keepsomething, yet can't find it, it's of no value to you.
  • Scan documents into your computer, then toss the paperversions. But be careful not to keep so much extraneous informationon your hard drive that you get bogged down searching for thedocuments you need. It's easier to store scanned referenceinformation (documents you may need at a later date) on disks orother types of external tape drives. Make it easy to find thesedocuments later by storing them by category. For example, store allpublicity documents on one Zip disk and marketing information onanother.

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