Despite some people’s dream of a paperless office, the reality is that forms are still present and have even proliferated in most offices. Like Gresham’s law on money, the bad outweighs the good.

If you agree that forms will remain and increase in quantity, then you will agree that they should be well designed with the following characteristics. Forms must be clear and concise and should have a source and destination. They should also contain a completion date, instructions (other than “Fill in the information below”), logical field flow, approval section, form number, and latest issue date.

Forms are beneficial for capturing and retaining information. They also provide an excellent audit trail and are reproducible.

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