The Final Hurdle in the Challenge of Going Paperless

By Sheryl Rowling, CEO, Total Rebalance Expert on Thursday, August 6th, 2015

It all started a couple of months ago: I wanted to completely eliminate paper in my office. The final obstacle was the yellow pad. For those who read my previous article on this subject, I chose to rely on my employees' research. I bit the bullet and bought an iPad Air for each client-facing member of the team, as well as a fancy stylus and software.

The unanimous choice of writing tool was the rechargeable Bamboo stylus. It sounds weird to need an electronic stylus; however, this allows you to rest your hand on the screen while you write without making a mark with your hand. You simply connect your stylus with the iPad's Bluetooth and turn it on with a quick touch of a button.

We downloaded two apps onto each iPad: GoodNotes and FileExplorer Free. Using apps for Outlook and Sharefile is also useful.  For $6.99, GoodNotes gives you the ability to convert handwriting to text, organize your notes into different notebooks, print to PDF and email them easily. This app also does a great job of allowing you to import and write on existing PDF documents. By tapping on the tool bar, your "pen" can write in different colors and widths or become a highlighter with different colors and widths. There is also an eraser tool and a "lasso" which is used to encircle notes that you'd like to move, copy, delete or convert to text.  Writing with GoodNotes is actually easy and convenient. You can simply write or draw as you would on a piece of paper or you can use the "zoom box" to write neatly on the lines while the box moves seamlessly across. This is also a practical way to sign documents. You can also create a text box and type.  FileExplorer Free, once you set it up, allows you to retrieve and save files directly to your office server — under any directory or subdirectory as if you were using your own desktop. In our firm, the only requirement is that we must be using our office's secure WiFi. We can actually take notes during a meeting, email them to the client and save them to Junxure, our CRM system, with just a few taps.

I originally thought the second article in this series would be farther down the line and that I might need a Part 3 follow-up. I was wrong. (I don't say that very often.) It didn't take long for us to all be using these tools very successfully.
The iPad "yellow pad" is great for client meetings, seminars, presentations and brainstorming. I would highly recommend this approach to all of you. And, your employees will view this as a great perk.
This article was originally published in InvestmentNews.

Sheryl Rowling, CPA/PFS is chief executive of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She is also a columnist for both Investment News and Advisors4Advisors. 

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