Business Week published an article in 1975 touting the virtues of and dawning of the paperless office. Sadly, except for the paper industry, we still aren’t there 35+ years later! In the past 40 years, paper use has tripled. In the United States alone, we use more than 400 million ink cartridges per year.
I do not consider myself an environmentalist. However, I do consider myself a practicalist (I’m coining the term today).
- Do we really need to print that email?
- Will we re-read that article we just printed?
- How often do we refer to all the receipts, statements and other financial papers we save?
Learn to print more efficiently
- Use Print Preview
- Print only the parts of a page you want
- Use Printer friendly pages
- If you use web based email (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, HotMail, etc), and you must print an email, learn how to do it more efficiently.
- Print only what you really need
- Print photos from a service
- Print what you like web site
- Stop a runaway print job
Don’t print email — search instead
All the major online email systems (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, HotMail) offer superb searching capabilities that allow you to pull up a saved email much faster than searching for something you printed. Desktop email programs like Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail or Apple’s Mail program offer good searching capabilities as well.
Convert items you would normally print to PDF
How to download use CutePDF
Controlling paper items we receive and want (need?) to keep
- Use paperless billing
- Receive statements electronically (and don’t print them)
- Scan received items and save them on your computer or a web based management system like Evernote or Shoeboxed.
- Opt out of junk mail and credit card offers using OptOutPrescreen and Direct Marketing Choice