Last week, reports about the Indian Parliament going paperless made headlines. Starting with the current winter session, annual reports from the ministries, committee reports, private members’ bills, unstarred questions and bulletin -1 will be uploaded on the Parliament website. The process of digitisation has been in the works for some time to make the services fast and transparent. We look at a few ways to reduce the amount of paper used every day.
Pay bills online
Utilities such as electricity, water, mobile bills and internet services have us shelling out cash on a monthly basis. Save paper by paying them online using internet, mobile or SMS banking. You could also opt for Electronic Clearance Service (ECS) with your bank, if you feel that you may forget to pay them without a statement in hand to remind you of the due date.
Get apps to manage
Why do most people opt for physical bills? The most common reason seems to be to file and track them. But apps like Bills Reminder and FileThis can also help you with reminders, track account balance, download statements, organise your documents, and make tax prep a breeze. The best part, some come with bank-level security.
Scan your slips
Put your smartphone’s camera to good use by turning it into a scanner. Apps like Evernote Scannable make it faster and easier to save your paperwork from receipts to multiple page documents. There are also apps that will help you attach scans of documents to your calendar, integrate it with LinkedIn or find someone’s profile on a social network by simply scanning the person’s business card.
Switch to a Kindle or another e-reader
For those who may have subscribed to catalogues or magazines to keep up with the competition, opting for their digital versions is a good option to reduce paper. Added advantages of going in for these devices is that they offer plenty of storage space and cost less than actual magazines and catalogues. Also, e-readers have become a lot cheaper now.
Opt for a digital signature
One of the most common reasons that people opt for physical forms is that several official documents require signatures. A good way to circumvent this is to get a Digital Signature Certificate. This is not only a digital equivalent of a handwritten signature, but adds extra data electronically to any document where it is used to make it more secure. Websites such as digitalsignatureindia.com and e-mudhra.com help you go digital.
Use your tablet or smartphone for notes
Are you one of those with multiple post-it notes on your desktop to ensure that you complete your to-do list for the day? Switch to apps like Simple Sticky Notes and Evernote Sticky Notes, which do the same thing but without the wastage. They can also be customised.