We all heard the stories. Computers were going to eliminate the need for paper and we would all experience the tidiness, efficiency and eco-friendly environment of the paperless office.
This was emphasised for me again today at my office. I work in our regional headquarters and this was the paper that I utilised today:
- printed out several articles to read (professional development)
- when cleaning out my file folders, discovered several things that needed to be followed up, so printed them out and put them in my in-tray as a physical reminder
- flyers on library event details that I used to input into our events booking software, calendar and website
- notes that I took at two brief meetings, with action points to follow up and directions to take
- several short notes to remind myself of tasks that needed to be completed today
- procedures for use of a particular software package
- more procedures for review in light of software changes
- and more…..
And that was just my paper production.
Pretty much all of these things could have been achieved if left in digital form, but weren’t for several reasons, including:
- easier to look from paper to screen, rather having to change from screen to screen
- still like to hold paper when reading – its easy to handle, use, read and file or discard when finished with
- notes in front of me are easier to see than notes on the desktop which get obscured by open software
- being consistent in the way our events promotions look – the flyers comes first
- having items in my in-tray works better for me as a reminder than long lists – I can pick them up, work on them or delegate a task by handing it to someone else.
For someone whose job is the online side of libraries, I still use a lot of paper and I’m OK with that.
Paperless office? Not in mine. How about yours? Are any of you anywhere near the ideal of the paperless office? If not, share your confession here, you are amongst friends. If you are, I would love to hear how you have done it.