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paperless 2013

Google, HelloFax, Expensify And Others Want You To Go Paperless In 2013

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The “paperless office” has been a fantasy of office managers since the advent of the personal computer. While you are probably printing less today than you did 10 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average office worker still uses about 10,000 sheets of paper per year (the numbers for the UK are similar, too). To make a new push for a really paperless office, the “Paperless Coalition,” which includes Google Drive, HelloFax, Manilla, HelloSign, Expensify, Xero and Fujitsu ScanSnap, today announced the launch of a new campaign to get businesses to go paperless to save “time, money and trees.”

The group is led by HelloFax. “The digital tools that are available today blow what we had even five years ago out of the water,” said Joseph Walla, HelloFax founder and CEO in a canned statement yesterday. “For the first time, it’s easy to sign, fax, and store documents without ever printing a piece of paper. It’s finally fast and simple to complete paperwork and expense reports, to manage accounting, pay bills and invoice others. The paperless office is here – we just need to use it.”

Paperless 2013, the coalition says, is a “campaign to remove the need for paper from ‘paperwork.'” Besides saving time, money and trees, all of these companies are also obviously interested in getting new users. In its current incarnation, this group is clearly meant to be complementary and doesn’t include any obvious competitors. While Google Drive is not a bad choice for storing your data online, for example, competitors like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box or SugarSync offer many of the same features.

If you want to go paperless in 2013, you can take a pledge on paperless2013.org, which will also sign you up for the group’s monthly email newsletter. According to its website, the coalition is also planning “other activities,” but it’s not clear what these will look like.

Image credit: clive darr