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Monday, June 30, 2008

From the mobile office to the paperless office

12:48:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
It is striking how seldom I print anything nowadays. I don’t even have a printer at home. (Well, that is not entirely true. I have one in a closet, but it is only used a few times per year for printing photos so it does not really count).

I don’t print at the office either. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe that I have printed more than a few pages for several months. The only things I have printed are speaker notes for seminars and presentations that I have held.

Why is that so? Why don’t I print so much anymore? It was not long ago since I felt the need to print every article that I downloaded.

Without having done a thorough analysis of why I do not print anymore, I can conclude that I seem to have changed my own behavior. It must have happened gradually since I haven’t thought about it before. I no longer print out of habit, but only when I really need to.

I believe that the key to this change is that I now can bring my content with me digitally in a more convenient way. The following might have made me change my behavior:

  • Time, as it takes time to change behavior
  • My USB stick that I use for shuffling files between computers
  • The fact that most locations I work at have internet access for guests so that I can access my content in the cloud using my own computer
  • My smartphone that allows me to search for info on the go instead of printing before I leave the office and also provides me mobile access to e-mail, my calendar, all my contacts and the RSS feeds that I subscribe to
  • Google Docs and other online tools that allow me to access my content regardless of computer
  • My blog and my RSS reader - I write a lot of things to be read online and also read a lot of things in RSS format, a format which is optimized for reading online, so it makes no sense to print what I read via RSS.
  • Finally, as I am more mobile and less at the office nowadays, I don’t have as easy access to printers as I had before.

Am I right in my observation that the emergence of the mobile office is driving us towards the paperless office?

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