Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/163015/go-paperless-stop-printing-everything-and-enjoy-the-digital-life/
The “paperless office” we were promised never seems to arrive for many people. The reality, however, is that a paperless office is here today if you want to take advantage of it.
Our company is as close to paperless as can be. All our paperwork is digitized, including the old paper files from each of our 1000 locations. These were all scanned into our system by end of December 2012. Our documents, including leases, change of lease information, forms for setup of Auto pay by card and ACH from checking are all done on software called Docusign. The completed forms are then emailed as a pdf to customers. For those customers still not with an email address we can print out the forms on our laser printer, but this hardly ever has happened.The only paper we still have is receipts which is on a tiny laser printer that prints from small rolls of paper. However the customer has the option of having the receipt emailed to them in pdf form rather than a printed receipt. This paperless conversion has saved us a lot of time in many ways and frees us up to do other tasks. It is definitely a vast improvement of physically maintaining, auditing and handling files and paper documents for each customer.
Quote from article;
The Case Against Printing
Printing is costly and inconvenient, requiring often-expensive ink
cartridges, printer paper, and new printers when that cheap inkjet
printer inevitably fails. All that paper becomes clutter that must be
properly organized, or you’ll never be able to find what you’re
looking for. You can’t access it when you’re away from your office,
you can’t search across it, and you only have one copy so you’re in
trouble if anything ever happens to it.
Printing was necessary when computers were heavy bricks that sat
attached to desks. We now walk around with computers in our pockets,
tablets that can approximate the size of a piece of paper, and cloud
services that can back up and sync all your documents across all your
devices. You can search for documents you’ve saved by the words they
contain so you don’t have to set up and master a complicated filing
However in the lesser world of the smaller office environment this is still done, just as we wasted time and paper years ago (and probably still do)
Printers in the early days were extremely expensive for the personal computer user but the running costs were pretty reasonable.
Nowadays the opposite has arrived, printers are cheap but the refilling can cost a fortune ( a light statement here ).
In an ideal world, as pointed out above, it's commendable to have all this 'paper' stored and retrievable from the cloud.
However, you are going get the request.....'can you print that off for me'
So for a while yet printers are still going to be part of our office furniture but it is a shame that the idea of the paperless office, as we perhaps perceived it all those years ago has not really happened.
And the printer manufacturers will make billions out of refills for a time yet.
Did you know that a printer cartridge can be fully assembled for 28p and is sold for about £10. (3ml or Printer Ink)
Luckily we have a printer store nearby and refills for £5 for 15ml
Sadly printing is required for school projects...
Brings out even more the text on one of my t-shirts:
"Homework kills tress. It must be stopped."
I print at my school as I often have to print 30-50 pages worth of items and then produce a 5 page essay... The money that would be wasted on my inkjet, not to mention the time it would take...
I still print a lot of things out. Especially instructions. I like to have the directions in front of me, and not on a screen. I don't want to have to be flipping back and forth between what I'm trying to fix and the directions for fixing it. I also print out serial numbers and registrations, and keep those in a safe place where I can easily look them up if some piece of software goes flooie.
I printed out the manuscripts for my two novels when I was doing revisions and I'll do the same with the next one. I work much better with pen and paper for that kind of thing, even though I have been an enthusiastic word processor user since I laboriously typed in SpeedScript for my Commodore 64 back in the mid 80s when I couldn't afford to buy it.
As for faxing, it's still one of the fastest ways to get copies of documents to people. Yes, I could scan and PDF and email them, but that makes more work for me and they'd just have to be printed out on the other end anyway. I don't use the fax in our all-in-one very often, but I'm still glad I have it available.
I'd like to cut down the amount of paper we file here. The current system is a compromise between my desire to shred everything that can be shredded as soon as humanly possible and my husband's desire to cling to every single bit of paper that comes into the house. We still pay bills by putting checks in the mail and after we've done that we file the rest of the bill in a folder labeled for the month. Those stay in the folder till the next year rolls around and then we shred the contents en masse. I would really like to get a duplex scanner so I could run all those things through it and just have a digital copy that could be printed out if needed (and it's almost guaranteed it will never be printed). I think I'll make buying that scanner a priority.
I know a guy who has us print out a bunch of stuff for his work. We got a new cartridge last month and it is almost empty. Talk about expensive.
Call me old but I'm not putting anything on a cloud except my browser syncs. And I back them up on a drive. There's a little thingy called a portable hard drive . I want all my important files out there where any middle school hacker can zap it. That's digital life. We only print what needs printed for those organizations that still like paper. Especially the government....LOL. Someone tell me just how secure is a cloud. Maybe I'm just too old. Eh? Try Linux, you'll like it. (plug).
Before printing PDF of a web page I use the Firefox PRINT EDIT add-on. It's brilliant. There's something similar for Chrome which I haven't found as good. I use BULLZIP (free) as my default PDF printer - it's able to print web-page content which many other printers simply don't recognize (i.e. produce a blank document).
I don't think printing will ever die, there is just something about having a paper in hand as opposed to a virtual page....
Power Outages are common and frequent here. I will never trust the cloud for my data.
I have an encrypted folder where I "print" all my pdf's.
Plus, the primary printer I use is a Color Laser. Inkjets are for those with more money than sense. I have four toners, I usually have to replace the black and one of the three colors every 12 months.
VERY inexpensive printing when I must.
Sorry to be dense, why not just save the file.
Erm, read the topic again.....
Yes still, data you don't have 3 copies of is data you don't care about. Online syncing isn't a bad thing at all though. Just be sure to have a local copy. It the files are something sensitive, then encrypt them before putting them on the server. Just don't trust them with too much. By the way, don't worry too much about middle school hackers. If you visit a middle school (don't) then you will wonder at how they even have the mental capacity to tie their own shoelaces. (No offense to any middle school students here)
What makes you seem old is that you are using a portable hard drive. Do you mean one of those metal boxes with spinning magnetic plates on the inside? Flash drives are more than cheap enough now that if you don't mind a small decrease in speed and size they are the way to go.
I've a question regarding my office.
I've been trying to get my office to go paperless for a while now, and have succeeded on some level (partially in thanks to Evernote).
We're a small book company who sells remainder products and discounted merchandise that we get from major publishers, such as HarperCollins and Penguin, to name a couple.
Every morning, one of the ladies prints off between 6 and 20 pages of product, which then gets pulled from the shelves. Each and every package we send out has an invoice. When we receive new product, we locate it to a temporary location, and once the entire shipment is entered, it gets printed, physically put away, and relocated to a shelf that has space for it.
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out a paperless way of both pulling orders in the morning, and entering new inventory as it arrives, but have yet to find a way to do so.
If anybody can suggest something, I'm all ears!
Yea, wink! spinningh disks. For now, Got some flash that I use to boot from and a couple for about 5,000 pictures. (3 copies) However I have a couple hundred Gigs just in OS's and drivers. Etc. Yep, not only middle school, my daughter and her friends (17 ish) are pretty much uh??, brain dead too. LOL of course. Maybe back a couple decades there were hackers. Any way, I print at the library. I have a fancy scanner that does negatives etc. I've gone through about six printers, I give up. I found Epson to be the greenest and cheaper to run. Thanks for the pleasant reply.