Small Business: 3 Smart Phone Apps that Cut the Paper Clutter

Piles of paperDoes paper haunt you like it does me? Paper is my bane. I have mini piles of it everywhere. You would think that with our society becoming more and more digital that paper would be obsolete. Yet we still sell bushels of it at OfficeMax and Staples. Small business owners need to be organized and what better way to organize your contracts, receipts and invoices than electronically to insure you always have them. (Note: this is NOT a paid endorsement, these are just 3 tools I found handy).

Recently I came across 3 new smartphone apps that are destined to help me with my paper clutter.

(let me know if you have others, I’m always looking to cut down on my paper piles)

  1. DocuSign Ink and DocuSign (2)
    Do you ever get asked to “fax a document” over these days? I still get asked and I always scratch my head and think, “who in the hell faxes crap anymore?” Faxing seems so archaic nowadays given how digital we’ve become. Yet, there are some companies who insist on faxing paper.  For a while I used eFax but their UI (user interface) is kluge and I don’t think they offer a free version anymore. Whereas,DocuSign offers two products. The first is their standard document upload service where you can upload a document and have someone digitally sign it.  It’s free if you do less than 5 documents a month and $14.99/mo if you do more.
  2. DocuSign Ink is another tool offered by the creators of DocuSign wherein it uses the cloud to store your signature.  Now, when you are asked to sign something, you can virtually sign it from your smartphone.  You can also snap a photo (through the smartphone app) of a document and sign it that way too. How cool is that?? Permission slip for school – no problem! Contract or NDA (non-disclosure agreement) – a snap! Super easy to use. You can use it for anything. Sign it, initial it, check  boxes, type text, print your name or insert the date.
  3. Grapple
    Are you guilty of having a “receipt drawer” or even worse for me is my beautiful Prada handbag gorgeous on the outside yet it looks like a trashcan on the inside from all of the paper receipts from stores.  Grapple let’s you scan the QR code on a receipt and store it electronically on your smartphone. If you ever need it, say for an expense report,  you can print it out. Otherwise, you can neatly store it electronically in a folder.

And while all of these services are great and will save a few trees, don’t forget to back up your phone! We some times take electronics for granted and think that they will always work and then one day they don’t and you swear to yourself that you will not let this happen to you again. Put it on your calendar to do it once a week. You’ll be grateful.


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.