Many people think printers have one sole purpose - to print! You use them to print off your latest reports, client records, or any other documents you need copies of. But today's printers are capable of so much more. Here are six printer hacks that can help you simplify your life and be more efficient in the office.
Did you know that, with the right device, you can print from your mobile phone, or any device, no matter where you are? Let's say you go home for the day but you forget to print off a copy of a report you were meant to give to one of your colleagues. No problem. You can find the document in your Dropbox, Google Drive, or other cloud storage and have your office printer print a copy right then and there.
You could also queue up your printing while out of the office and once you get to the office, you can release all your queued documents. Even if this only saves you 10 minutes a day, over the year that's a lot of time used more productively!
Accidents can happen, but once the damage is done there is no going back. If you have ever printed off a sensitive document by mistake and the 'wrong' person has got their hands on it then you know what we mean.
Like computers, printers are hooked up to networks which may leave them being at risk of data breaches. Thankfully most modern printers have top-notch security software that can be easily maintained through regular updates. If you require extra security, you can use the PIN or the 'swipe to release' feature on your printer to track who is printing and what is being printed. Additionally, your print job is only released once you have swiped or logged in to the printer, utilising your existing building secure access card, a dedicated printer swipe card, or a unique PIN.
Having more control of your document output means that documents will no longer be left piling up in the leftover tray, or worse, forgetting to collect them and stressing that someone else has read them. We've seen a drop in paper usage by 17% on average when this feature is turned on in an office, as well as enhancing printer security!
Regardless of how big your company is, everybody can do their bit to reduce waste and help preserve the earth's precious resources. In a modern office, printing can have a large environmental impact, especially if there is a high level of printer wastage. The good news is, however, that now more than ever printers have been designed to be much more eco friendly and come with higher energy star ratings.
For example, modern printers have sophisticated features like sleep mode to help save electricity when they're not being used and print activity tracking so you can track your usage and overall print spend. Ink and paper supplies are expensive, so not only will you help the environment, but you will save on your consumable costs.
Like most technology these days, your printer is also connected to the cloud. You can store all your documents in one place and then sync your printer up to your cloud software so you can access and print these documents off from anywhere. Cloud technologies have enabled even the non-tech-savvy amongst us to be able to manage this setup easily without the help of an onsite IT manager.
Having a cloud printer setup also allows for what is called 'follow me printing', which allows you to print effortlessly from wherever you are and on any printer connected. You could be on a different floor in your building or even in a different state, but as long as the 'FollowMe' function is enabled, you can print securely from anywhere.
Let's say you have a daily meeting at 9 am every day and it is your job to print off the daily meeting notes to hand out to all attendees. By using the advanced printing feature on your printer, you could set it up so that every day at 8.30 am the meeting notes are printed off - just as you arrive each day for work. With this small, but surprisingly useful hack, you can save yourself lots of time and ensure you start your day ahead.
Scanning software that includes Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can take any printed document and turn it into a searchable document. It does this by allowing your printer to automatically scan and examine the text on the document for easy data processing. Once the digital document has been created, you can utilise workflow automations to determine what should be done with the document and start progressing this workflow. For example, if the document is recognized as an invoice then the system could automatically send it to your accounting department or accounting software program for it to be assigned and paid. The document can then be archived in the cloud for safe record keeping.
Modern printers can save the average business hundreds of hours a year, so it is definitely worth taking advantage of all of the features that they offer. If you implement these six printer hacks today you will be on your way to a much more happy and productive office.
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