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More thoughts on the less-paper office

17 Nov 2008 | | One Comment

Well — early-to-mid November has been non-stop discussion in the hotly debated topic of the so-called “paperless office”. Early on, Stephen Partridge — Business Development Manager for Acrobat in the UK fired off the first volley with his blog posting, “Paperless Office”. In this piece, Stephen talked about merits of paper as a “technology” and how it still holds a highly dominant position today — and will continue to do so, and perhaps with no complete elimination. Side note: whilst Stephen says this, I do tend to think it’s a nice seque to introduce Acrobat as it has strong paper-like characteristics…

Rowan Hanna, my compatriot, responded with his own thoughts, primarily centered around the common idea that because electronic paper is able to work more elegantly with electronic information, that when it is affordable, that it will be a serious nail in the firewood-paper coffin.

As for me — well, given I’ve been following this topic for years, I couldn’t help but throw my two-cents worth in as to ways of helping this process along.  For the most part, I believe that in order to “free your mind” from the habitual use of paper, you’ve got to take the time … and make the effort — much like the early days of learning a new language. Get rid of your printer, make use of the local internet cafe for when you really do need to print. Don’t buy a new ink cartridge if you have a printer (sorry HP, I’ll still use the scanner part of my multifunction printer, scanner, fax, etc…).

And … budget depending, set yourself up with as many monitors and computers as possible — in as many places as possible. You don’t need to spend up big — you’ll find many old-school computers, monitors, etc… floating around from when people upgraded to their 5,000,000 MHZ, 1024-bit Pentium processors.

But all in all — I agree with Stephen — we’ll end up with a “less-paper” office, rather than a paperless office.

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One Comment »

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    Well I guess there’s no reason why an office has to be an entirely paper free zone. Some paper is acceptable, if it’s at a sustainable level, but the current levels of usage are wasteful and inefficient.

    Maybe if the price of a sheet of paper was 50 cents, then people would think twice about using it…

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