Alternatives to Printing

Alternatives to Printing

By Bob Rankin

Save money, save paper and stop printing.–PC Pitstop

How often do you use your home printer? If it’s more than just occasionally, I’ve got some tips to simplify your life and save you money. Aside from wasting paper, killing trees unnecessarily, and spending more than $300 a gallon on printer ink, you’re also creating a stack of pages that you’ll have to do something with. Here are some ways to minimize those hard copies, as well as the associated filing, and tedious searching tasks…

Put Down that Cartridge and Back Away Slowly From the Printer

Printing is a habit, and it can be a costly one. We print documents, emails, bills, receipts, photos and other types of files. All of these things come to us in digital form, so the trick is to realize that converting them to paper just makes it harder to manage and find them later.

Many things are printed for record-keeping purposes. But the best record-keeper available may be your email server. Instead of printing a Word document or PDF, email a copy to yourself, and Gmail (or whatever email service you use) will keep it safe forever. You can also find it again with simple search, or tag it with keywords so that you can easily find all documents that relate to a given topic. If you use webmail, you have the added benefit that your important documents are stored online, and won’t be lost if your hard drive fails.

Bills, receipts, monthly statements, correspondence, jokes and pictures of cute puppies will flow into your inbox. Let them stay there! Printing these things is old-school thinking, and ultimately makes it harder to find the information at a later date.

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Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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8 thoughts on “Alternatives to Printing

  1. I’ve been doing this since 2008! In fact for all my household receipts for insurance purposes I forward to my insurance email address!!!

  2. As soon as I read Alternatives to Printing I thought: “Man, that’s great. I want to make a copy of that so I won’t forget about it.” With a little reflection, I realize how difficult it is to change one’s brain programming after years in business. I suppose eventually I’ll accept the permanentcy and reliability of stuff in my computer instead of in a manila folder in a filing cabinet drawer where I know exactly where it is and how to get to it quickly. I wonder if I’ll ever get to feel that comfortable about stuff that’s MAYBE stored somewhere in my PC.

  3. Absolutely! It dawned on me about a year ago! Thanks Bob, by the way, for your newsletters and articles. They've helped me tremendously. I fwd them to our I.T. and he's appreciated them, too.

  4. About the “Alternatives to Printing” article. I’m a little confused. The article stated that bills, photos, etc. will flow into the email inbox. And then just leave them there to look up later etc. My question is if the correspondence is left in the inbox wont it eventually become so overloaded that everytime email is opened to check mail, I would have to scan through an increasing amount of already received emails. I’m missing something here, please explain. I use Yahoo mail, thanks.

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