The challenge of becoming paperless

A tale of finding a solution to the yellow pad

Jun 10, 2015 @ 10:45 am

By Sheryl Rowling

I frequently refer to my firm as a paperless office. All documents are stored online or PDF'ed on our CRM system. Tax returns are filed electronically. We receive clients' documents through our secure link. Yet we still purchase yellow pads. That doesn't seem so bad, but it bothered me that we were still relying on paper.

So I set my millennial financial adviser, Lorenzo, on the trail to find the solution to the yellow pad. The critical pieces were:

• Appropriate devices for each client-facing employee.

• Internet-enabled to access relevant programs such as MoneyGuidePro, Schwab Institutional, Total Rebalance Expert, etc.

• Ability to take notes in handwriting that are transferable to our system.

• High-resolution graphics to show presentations to clients or prospects out of the office.

After much research and experimentation, Lorenzo was ready to reveal his recommendations:

iPad Air – He chose the iPad Air for its light weight, ease of use and brilliant display. For an additional $50 apiece, we selected the 32-gigabyte option rather than the 16-gigabyte option to avoid potential capacity issues down the road.

• Stylus – Lorenzo tested several different stylus models. He selected the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline. It's pricey (about $60), but he says it's the best one he tried. Still, other employees will need to choose based on what feels best to them.

• Software – This note-taking software is easy to implement and integrates with our CRM through our wireless Internet. Programs required are the Goodnotes app, (about $6) File Explorer Free as well as Outlook and Sharefile.

Needless to say, the employees were more than happy to give me their choices for iPad and case colors. As we await our new iPads, we are all anxious to learn the new procedures. I will report on our progress in a future blog post.

Sheryl Rowling is chief executive of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.


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