Paperless: Are You Really Ready To Make The Switch?

Making the change to become completely paperless can be quite a scary thought.  However, getting rid of those huge filing cabinets and abundance of paper piles on our desk does sound very appealing.  With a whole host of benefits  going paperless can provide, it has become one of the trend. But how do you know if you are ready to go paperless? And if it’s actually the right choice?

Paper vs. Digital

We print every day in the workplace, at home and in schools for many reasons.  Printing document is sometimes a necessity. People often find it simpler and a lot more convenient to print off a piece of work or a report, then grab a pen and make some notes or highlight important information. However, in this digital age it’s very easy to achieve this digitally with tracked changes and the ability to make comments on documents.

Many people may argue though that printing is better, simply because when reading long text online,  your eyes can become tired and it can even damage them. Not only this but when reading things on screen we tend to skim over them.  Which means we are very likely to overlook errors. On paper, text is usually read more thoroughly.

A printer and some paper can also be far more cost-effective than you think.  That’s because of all the software, storage solutions, hard drives and cloud technology that you will need going paperless. Paper is cheap, it can be stored away and is easily available. Printers, of course vary in price depending on the quality but they are affordable and will be set up in a matter of minutes.

Printers are multipurpose as well.  For example if at work you need to get something signed immediately you can simply print the document off, sign it, fax or copy it and then its done – using an all-in-one printer. This gives you flexibility to convert paper documents into digital formats and vice versa too.

There are also still so many uses for a home printer. Most of us like to have photos printed out individually, to frame and hang them on the walls.  Having these printed by a company can be costlier than doing it ourselves. Boarding passes for travel are also documents we need to print, as well as lecture notes, labels and many other personal things that we would miss if we didn’t have printers.

The older generation – who may have never used a computer and would prefer to have their bank statements printed out rather than viewed online – the change to paperless may be more challenging. The BBC wrote a great article all about the generation that technology forgot, check it out here.

Overall, whilst society is moving quickly into the digital age, providing ways for us to live and manage without paper, we may discover that without printers on hand many of us would struggle. Embrace digital, but also make sure you have a good quality printer, well stocked with ink and a couple boxes of paper close by because the chances are that no matter whether its for business or pleasure, you are going to need them sooner or later.