Going paperless was tough but so worth it

I have, for a long time, extolled the virtues of operating in a paperless office.

Don’t file that”, “why are you printing”, “what a waste”, “just type your notes out” etc. Then, wanting to feel less like a hypocrite, I tried to put these things into practice. How hard could it be to actually work “paperless”? I thought it through, for the longest of minutes, before deciding to give it a shot. Having looked at it for other companies I know too well the costs of print and paper so it was time to lead by example!

I managed 10 minutes before the phone rang and I rushed to get a pen. Not really the start I was hoping for.

Ok, so now when the phone rings and I’m in the office I quickly open a text file and make the notes, easy! The phone rang again, I followed my new process and no trees were harmed! Better still, it was a note for somebody else so I easily copied and pasted it straight into an email and off it went, now I’m paperless and even more efficient.

My next job for the day was to compile a proposal based on a previous site audit (I know what you’re thinking, what a glamorous life I lead). Step 1, print out the site audit and… damn. Well, it’s printed now, at a rough cost of 8p per page (damn colour logos), may as well make use of it. Next time though…

So now I have 2 monitors. I read a study which claimed a 48% increase in productivity by having 2 monitors and I’ve got to admit I’m feeling it. Twice as efficient and when it comes to working on 2 documents at once its priceless! So that’s that task done, perfect.

Finally, I’m off to a customer meeting. Grab the notebook and… oh, here we go again. Ditch the notebook, grab the laptop and I’m off! On the drive over to the customer site however, I was wondering what they would think when I opened my laptop instead of a notebook. Many people like to see you writing notes, not necessarily hear the tapping of keys. Furthermore, they have the confidence that what I’m doing is pertinent to the conversation, what if they think I’m just on Facebook while they’re talking to me.

As I pulled up to their site I decided to go for it anyway, but tell them what I was doing. I got the go ahead and that was it. The notes I took that day were significantly better than those previously. Not having the ability to doodle, having the cursor blinking away at me, whatever it was the notes were of a better quality. So I decided to compare them to my previous notes. That’s when I recognised the real value of going paperless. This time, I could actually read the notes I’d made! Looking back on it, I’d had fewer errors and MUCH less squinting at my own sprawling mess of ink.

So that’s how I did it, that’s how I abandoned paper. Its made me better, more efficient and more cost effective. I still struggle with using paper every now and then but I’m a digital man, I’ve got the will to do it so I know I’ll find the way.