I have been paperless since I went IA over 3 years ago. I was with Nationwide before and started going paperless back then but they liked the paper up until I showed how easy it was. In fact, Nationwide used my office as kind of a test bed when they started really looking into it. But I left shortly after that.
I have to agree with the previous statements saying if you have not gone paperless you are going backwards. I modified ACT! client management software and utilize it to manage all my documents. It is so much easier to do the filing and recovery of documents than it was when I had paper files.
I have had many conversations with underwriters, claims adjusters and clients who said they needed a document, since I am paperless I am able to pull the client file up and send it to them while I am on the phone. I utilize a scanner and a program which prints documents in PDF format. I have a fax service through ITPVoIP which sends all faxes to me via email in PDF format. I am able to send them directly to the clients file. This saves a TON of paper, toner and time when dealing with a client. If I do have a paper document I scan just scan it quickly.
If you are going to go paperless you will want to make sure you have a good scanner to use, a large hard drive to store documents and a plan in place. The hardest part for me was trying to deal with my company files since I have no file cabinets in my office. I finally made a folder called "File Cabinet", I have it broken out with A, B, C, D, etc. Underneath each of those sub folders I have the companies name, The Hartford, Travelers, etc. Underneath those I may have Memos, underwriting information, website info and so on. This has been a God send for me. I can be at my desk and find information right then and there. I don't have to get up, find a file, find the document in the file and the reverse everything and hope I put it all back in the right place.
Oh, one thing about the scanner, I created a folder called New Scan which holds all my newly scanned documents. I name the file when I scan it with something like "A Jones signed Trav home app" or "A Jones DD Cert 04162013". I am able to sort the folder by name and when I file, I an grab all the files for one client and drag them into the document storage area on ACT!. Once they have copied into the storage area, I can then delete them out of the folder.
As for backing everything up, ACT! enables me to back up all my data into a single zip file. I have it uploaded to an off-site storage area such as Carbonite or something like that automatically every night. I also copy the file to a local hard drive attached to my server which only holds back up data. And last but not least, I copy the file to a thumb drive every other day. This way I know it is triple backed up. The time is minimum for the back up but I know I am triple covered. This came in handy a few months ago when a virus attached to an email got through my old virus software. I was able to restore everything to my laptop off my thumb drive in a matter of 10 min. I was up and running and finding a new virus protection software, suggest Kaspersky by the way.
If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I will be happy to answer any questions.