By Rachel Bosworth
It was during a conversation with colleagues when bookkeeper Christine Reina Hoyt held up a green plastic protector that was sitting on her desk when she exclaimed the need for a device that looked similar for documents that could be “printed” and then later “trashed” when they were no longer needed. Hoyt was tired of going through tremendous amounts of paper, and trips back and forth to the printer. “It feels like such a waste of paper and time,” she had said. Her colleagues agreed, and knew Hoyt was onto something.
A resident of Sag Harbor since she was a teenager, Hoyt began her bookkeeping business in 1996. After that conversation with her colleagues, she decided that she would invent a technology that could replace physically printed documents. She shares that the data entry process for some small business clients includes going online, printing out statements, entering the data, reconciling, shredding and throwing away used documents, and then repeating. The need for this technology became more apparent in her business, and through trial and error, she connected with Pawel Aksamit of Binartech in Opole, Poland.
“We worked for months writing a patent application and when that was complete and submitted, I talked about working on a prototype,” explains Ms. Hoyt. “I thought of it more as a hardware device, with the page protector thing actually being a flexible screen device, however that technology is not yet available to third party markets. Pawel suggested making it an app that can function on ordinary tablets. And thus, FleetSheet was born.”
FleetSheet eliminates printing by transferring documents from a computer to a smart device, such as a tablet, with a single click. Users can download the app for a monthly fee, and “print” documents from a PC to a paired tablet or smartphone on the same Wi-Fi network. The app is available through Google Play and is currently under review by Apple, and should be available for iOS soon. With an upgrade, users can make comments on documents directly with a stylus, save, and share instantly. Hoyt says uses for the app run the gamut; noting the use for professors and students, inventory supervisors, lawyers, home cooks, and more.
About 69 million tons of paper and paperboard is used in the United States each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While there has been an upswing in a desire to go paper-free in recent years when considering the environment, advancements in technology, and reducing overall waste, Hoyt shares that there are still things that need to be printed. “Sometimes you do just need to see things on paper, especially when you have to cross reference, transcribe, or enter data into a computer,” Hoyt says. “Bank statements, credit card statements, looking up information from an email so you can prepare an answer, and then you use what you are reading off of and throw it away when you’re done.”
Split screens, dual monitors, and emailing documents to open on a smartphone or tablet are an extra step that defeats the purpose of productivity. Hoyt says, explaining a user’s eye doesn’t always pick up on the right line, and that trying to go back where you left off is a visual challenge. There is also an issue in those uses with documents not opening or adjusting properly on the screen. FleetSheet’s responsive design allows documents and images to appear exactly as they would on paper on any screen size, without zooming or moving around.
Hoyt has noticed the use of FleetSheet in her own office has led to increased work efficiency, and that she is less distracted when she doesn’t have to keep getting up. The environmental and reduced waste benefits have been noticed as well, as FleetSheet limits the need for ink, toner, paper, and even shredders. As Hoyt says, “It’s just human nature to take the path of least resistance and go that extra bit to be environmentally responsible.”
FleetSheet is free, with in-app purchases of unlimited printing at $6.99 per month. The notation feature is $9.99 per month. Find more information at paperfreeprinting.com.