From Paper to Pixels

From grocery store receipts to newspapers to utility bills, Americans come across countless pieces of paper every day. It all adds up to 70 million tons of paper and paperboard distributed every year. Many of these documents are now in digital formats, and the vision of a paperless world is slowly becoming a reality.

Going paperless can be especially beneficial for businesses. The move cuts the cost of office supplies, and digital information can be accessed more quickly by employees, takes up less physical space in the office and is good for the environment. In fact, 35 percent of retailers, including Verizon Wireless and Patagonia, offer digital receipts.

If a retailer hasn’t gone digital yet, the Shoeboxed app tracks receipts electronically. Customers can take a picture of the receipt on their smartphone or tablet, and the app will track and store the date, location and purchase amount. This can be a useful tool for tracking business expenses, as data can be easily exported to Excel, QuickBooks or other accounting software.

Business cards can quickly accumulate in one’s desk or pockets, especially after a networking event. The Rolodex of the future is here with the Cardmunch app. After a business card is scanned it is transcribed by a human – not a machine – and the contact information is captured and saved to the phone, along with the image of the card for backup. The card can then be recycled or returned for re-use.

The scanning ability found on many mobile devices is not limited to small documents. The JotNot app captures multi-page contracts, reports or any large document with a smartphone and can either be sent via email, transferred to a computer or uploaded to a file-sharing or storage service like Verizon Cloud