If there’s one thing we don’t need more of, it’s paper. It seems like everywhere we go, we’re still required to fill out paper forms, sign documents, and throw away the phone book once a year that still gets delivered to our doors for some reason!
While the rest of the business world is still be drowning in paper, that doesn’t mean your massage therapy practice has to. Paper creates clutter, inefficiencies, and waste which in turn hurts your productivity.
So how do you get rid of it?
1. Commit to a paperless scheduling experience. There are a number of great online scheduling programs that can eliminate the old-fashioned paper schedule. Need some recommendations? Check out our recent post in which we covered some of the best online scheduling tools. Or, you could use Massamio… but hey, we might be biased 🙂
2. Track client progress electronically. There are some great apps available that allow you to track your SOAP notes electronically. SOAP Vault is one such tool and drchrono EHR is another one to consider. Or, you could use Massamio (you might be seeing trend here…. just sayin’).
3. Go cashless with smartphone credit card processing. Who carries cash (or their checkbook) these days? Credit/debit cards are by far the most popular way to pay for things now so reduce friction for clients and paper for yourself by using a mobile point of sale system like Square or GoPayment to take credit cards.
4. Trade your shoebox of receipts for Shoeboxed.com. Still hanging on to business receipts for the IRS? Sign up for Shoeboxed.com and purge them all. Shoeboxed is fully IRS compliant and even lets you scan receipts from your smartphone.
5. Manage your todo list in the cloud. If your office is still full of post-it notes and paper reminders, make the leap to the cloud with a web-based todo list app. Some of the best apps for list-makers include Remember the Milk, Wunderlist, and Astrid.
6. Thumb your nose at the 80’s with eFax. Fax machines represent technology from decades ago yet we still can’t see to get rid of them. Lose the fax machine and jump on over to eFax.com. eFax lets you receive faxes but emails them to you as PDFs.
7. Sign documents electronically. Even if you ditch the fax machine, you still sometime have to print things to sign, right? No more! Set up an account with RightSignature and you can sign PDFs electronically without printing anything. It works both ways so you can send out documents for electronic signing as well as sign documents you receive.
8. Invoice via email. Not every massage therapist sends invoices, but we know that some of our readers do corporate massage work and do send invoices rather than taking payment on the spot. If this is the case, consider using FreshBooks to keep all your invoicing electronic.
9. Invest in a good shredder. This one is a pretty low-tech tip but an important tool in your paperless office. You need a quick, secure way to dispose of receipts you’ve scanned and sensitive documents you receive in the mail, and a good shredder makes this easy and even fun! It can be very therapeutic to shred a big stack of paper. Trust me on this one.
10. Keep important documents in Evernote. Evernote is one of the most useful apps we’ve ever seen. It lets you store all sorts of information securely in the cloud, including documents. You can snap photos of documents using your smart phone and easily upload them straight to Evernote. It also stores other types of content, like audio, video, and text.
Converting to a paperless massage therapy practice may take some time, but the productivity gains and reduced clutter is sure to enhance your work experience.
Have any paperless office tips of your own? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Comments from original Massamio post:
Great suggestions! My wife is a therapist and I happen to direct marketing for a document management company, so your post really hits home! The time you save digitizing your business pays off big time when you need to search for those documents (by client, by date or by therapist). With even mom on pop food truck businesses accepting electronic payments, even part time therapists are going to be expected to accept digital payments. — Posted @ Monday, September 10, 2012 11:54 AM by Will Stagl
You know, we’re supposed to be living in a digital world, so why is my desk still covered in paper???!!?? 😀 — Posted @ Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:57 AM by Amy-lynn
Thanks, Will! We’re glad you enjoyed the post! (And tell your wife I said “HI!”) Sarah — Posted @ Friday, September 14, 2012 12:49 PM by Sarah Cafiero
Amy-lynn, It’s alll a work in progress, no? My husband contends that someday we will all be injected into the internet anyway…. — Posted @ Friday, September 14, 2012 12:50 PM by Sarah Cafiero
I created electronic SOAP notes in excel over ten years ago. It was easy to do and avoided the nightmare of keeping thousands of hard copy SOAP notes. Easy and a lot cheaper than office software. — Posted @ Saturday, September 15, 2012 2:43 PM by Matthew
hi very nice to know this, We save the trees , nature , use paperless. thanks to ur Team — Posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 12:33 PM by Sandeep
Will Massamio be offering electronic SOAP notes soon? — Posted @ Thursday, March 06, 2014 10:13 PM by Mary
Hi Mary, we started the initial work for the project and have put it on hold for the time-being. We will update you as we move forward. Thanks for checking! — Posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:26 PM by Benjamin McDonald