Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have listed the most common questions people ask about GreenFolders. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have a question that isn't covered below, we encourage you to contact GreenFolders Customer Service to get a quick answer from an expert on our products and how they work.

What is GreenFolders?

What is the GreenFolders office management system?

The GreenFolders office management system is a software replacement for what you are doing with paper today, reproducing virtually every process you use while providing the cost savings and additional efficiencies that come from the adoption of paperless office technology. This includes document management, work management, file management, record keeping, archives, document markup and annotation—and much more. Check out our GreenFolders Work Without Paper page for more information.

What is GreenFolders Office Desk?

GreenFolders is the core application of the GreenFolders office management system, the central hub for all your documents and tasks. GreenFolders is an electronic office management system that "lives" in your office. There is a server component, which manages the documents, files and other data and controls and monitors access by the people who use it. There is also a client component, which is installed on the users' computer(s), giving access to the system.

What is GreenFolders Communicator?

GreenFolders Communicator is the tool that works within the GreenFolders office management system to provide secure communications services to your business. Powered by the SendSide® communication network, GreenFolders Communicator gives your customers and partners their own personal online safety deposit box and secure messaging system. They'll be able to receive communications from you, and also upload their personal electronic documents like copies of tax returns, wills and other legal instruments, and real estate closing documents.  They'll also be able to send secure documents and messages to others who need them.

Is GreenFolders really that different from the way we work today?

The answer is both yes and no. The GreenFolders Office Desk can work exactly as you do today. But the system can provide a paradigm shift as you move from a paper-based mindset to one that is primarily digital. But the revolution doesn't have to be total, nor does it have to be immediate. GreenFolders provides tools that allow you to automate virtually all of your file- and document-related processes and tasks, but you can implement these automation steps at your own pace.

How do I get paper documents, electronic files, or legacy data into GreenFolders?

GreenFolders provides you with a variety of tools to get your documents into your digital files. The easiest way is to simply drag and drop a file from anywhere on your computer (or from connected network drives) directly into your GreenFolders files. If you received a file in an e-mail, you can drag and drop it straight from the message window.  If the e-mail has an attachment, you can even drag just the attachment into the folder.

Paper documents can be easily scanned into the system. We even provide a "virtual printer" that allows you to print any computer file (such as Word or Excel documents, web pages, or e-mail messages) directly into your GreenFolders files, bypassing paper altogether. Alternatively, you can directly upload most kinds of documents directly into GreenFolders in their native format (as word processing or spreadsheet documents, for example).

Is my company too small (or too big) to benefit from GreenFolders?

GreenFolders was designed to scale from one to hundreds of users, to provide immediate benefit both for one-person operations and large-scale enterprises processing thousands of files per month. The system provides a "reduced frustration" transition path for those who are first installing the software and training their first users, as well as advanced optimization features for those looking for more improvements in their file-handling processes. Regardless of the size of your operation, the GreenFolders expert support team is always available for help at any stage of your migration from paper to paperless files.

What makes the GreenFolders Office Desk different from other solutions?

One of the biggest differences between GreenFolders and other similar systems is the basic mindset. Other systems focus on what you do after you have paper. GreenFolders has you start without paper, work without paper, and finish without paper.

Another significant difference with GreenFolders is its flexibility. GreenFolders empowers your people to do the tasks they perform every day, substituting electronic documents for paper ones. The workflow within GreenFolders is fully configurable to fit your own needs and processes, so you can do things the way you've always done—or completely revamp your processes to create additional efficiencies.

Paperless or Just Less Paper?

Why should I "go paperless"?

There are many very good reasons organizations are looking at reducing their dependence on paper and moving toward a more streamlined paperless work environment. The most obvious reason is paper costs money, and reducing the amount of paper your business uses reduces the cost of doing business.

Besides the cost of the paper itself (which can be considerable), there is also the cost of the ink and toner as well as the office machinery that handles the paper, including printers, photocopiers and scanners. Paper also has to be stored, so if you reduce the amount of paper you're handling, you reduce the storage costs. Most "document-driven" companies pay a small fortune every year for off-site document storage and retrieval services, document shredding vendors, as well as file cabinets and banker's boxes to warehouse it all.

If that wasn't enough reason to go paperless, it's a proven fact that paperless offices are significantly more efficient than those that rely heavily on their "processed wood pulp" counterparts. Digital documents and files don't have to be shuffled from desk to desk, and are almost impossible to physically lose. In a paperless office, workers have instant access to the files they need.

Finally, though trees are a renewable resource, reducing paper doesn't just reduce the number of trees needed to make the paper. It also reduces the environmental impact of the fuel and other resources needed to harvest the wood, convert it to pulp, process it into paper, and deliver it to your business. So there's a reason that GreenFolders starts with "green"—it really is better for the planet!

How much money will I save right away?

The amount you save with GreenFolders depends entirely on how you use the system. If you move your entire operations onto GreenFolders immediately, you'll see immediate savings in the cost of paper, folders, printing/copying equipment and supplies, and so on. You'll also see the cost of filing and storing your files drop as you transition to electronic files. But it all comes down to how aggressive you are in migrating your business processes to 21st-century technology.

Will I really save money in the long run?

The only way you could keep from saving money with GreenFolders is to not use the system. Current GreenFolders users are reporting immediate monthly savings of $5,000 - 10,000, which increase as their employees get better and better at the more streamlined processes made available through GreenFolders.

How much does GreenFolders cost?

There are a couple of different pricing models for GreenFolders, and the right one for you will depend on the size of your business and how you'll be using the system. Contact your GreenFolders representative to find out more about pricing and to get some guidance in selecting the plan that's best for you and your company.

Is it legal? Is it safe?

Am I legally allowed to store imaged copies instead of paper?

By federal law—and with few exceptions—any document that you can have in paper is also legal as an electronic document. Two important pieces of federal legislation, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), established the requirements around what is legal, what is required, and what is optional.  There are examples in many states but here is a typical example from California.

There are a few types of document, like stock shares and water certificates, which must remain as paper originals. Your own industry may have its own exceptions as well. But except where expressly required by statute, images are permissable replacements for paper.

If I'm not using paper, how do I protect my data?

We recommend that all businesses adopt industry-standard data protection and recovery practices—whether they're using GreenFolders or not. This includes making sure the servers you're using to run mission-critical systems have built-in hardware redundancies, so you can replace drives as they wear out without compromising your onsite data. It also includes regular, automated backups which should be stored in a secure offsite location. Your IT department, or a reputable data security consultant, will be able to audit your current data protection practices to determine whether they'll stand up to both run-of-the-mill and catastrophic failures.

Some people are uncomfortable feeling "safe" with digital files, because there's nothing tangible to hold in their hands. But the reality is, digital documents are considerably safer than paper. They're cheaper and easier to store and transport. While an entire server can be backed up in minutes, it's virtually impossible to "back up" a warehouse full of paper, and if the warehouse burns down, where does that leave you?

If you're already doing a good job protecting the data in your office, your GreenFolders data will be just as safe as what's already in your other systems. If you need some improvement in the way you're managing the data you already store, now is the time to change.

How secure are GreenFolders files?

All of the files in your GreenFolders system are protected by the same safeguards that you use to protect your other sensitive data. If you're not sure how safe your business' systems are, we can recommend a good data security consultant to work with you to secure your critical systems to ensure their protection.