Paper Not Going Anywhere

from the go-away dept

Judging from the piles of “stuff” surrounding me (on the desk, on the floor, on my monitor – damn, I need to clean up), the “digital revolution” hasn’t worked out the way many people predicted. And, I’m not alone. People are noticing that the old promise of the “paperless” office isn’t just not coming true, it’s a complete joke. We’re dealing with more paper than ever before, and more physical goods. Just because you can transport things digitally doesn’t mean that we’re going to store them digitally. Now, if someone would just build a search engine for all the paper on my desk…

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Comments on “Paper Not Going Anywhere”

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1 Comment
Phillip says:

Speak for yourself

In the past few years as a programmer, the only paper I’ve ever had on my desk are a few reference books and a pay slip once a month. Looking around my office I can see one blank sheet next to the phone, and a still-sealed freebie magazine. Quite often people give me printed emails passing on instructions, but then they email it to me anyway to ‘confirm’ and I can chuck it away. I can get up to 150 email in a day, but I haven’t had a single mail in the past month apart from a solitary bank statement (and hopefully that will dry up too).

I think the author of the article is abusing the term “paperless office”. I don’t think the term was coined to mean a complete absence of pulped wood, including books and magazines. It was talking about volumes of internal mail so large that companies needed internal sorting offices. People having to run around and get forms signed in triplicate. Large ledger books full of accounting details and even larger filing cabinets full of them.

Books and magazines will go eventually, when technology provides a better replacement, but why the rush? I’m happy with my paperless office, and that’s no joke.


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