working paperless

Working Paperless – Part 2 WHY

In Productivity, Time Management, Tips and Tricks, Working Paperless, Working Smarter by hardorsmart3 Comments

Working Paperless in four parts

Thanks for joining me on the follow-up to last week’s blog post on working paperless (Part 1: Origins)!

This is Part 2 of a series of 4 Blog Posts on Working Paperless.

1. The first part is about how it all started
2. The second part covers Why I work paperless (that’s today)
3. Part three tells you How I work paperless
4. The last part is all about the tools that I use

In this post, let me tell you why I started working paperless, why I kept on doing it for the past five years (the current month is October 2016), and why I will keep on doing it.

It’s, in fact, a very strange thing that perhaps you can relate to: When you don’t do the same things as most people do, then often you have to explain why. For example, if you are a vegetarian you know that people often ask you why. These days that also applies to working paperless but I’m convinced that will change quite rapidly. It’s hard to predict exactly when, but I think within ten to fifteen years, people who still use paper on any large scale, will have to explain why.

But we’re not there yet so here is why I work paperless.

1. Environmental reasons

Let’s face it: all this paper and all this ink that we use are not good for the environment. Now we have a better alternative we certainly must stop producing all this printed paper. It’s just not necessary anymore! Let’s think about this planet. It’s all that we have, and we will need it for a long time to come.

2. Searchability

As the amount of printed paper grew into massive proportions, people started to need ways to retrieve the information that they stored. So we invented all kinds of filing systems, but they all had their shortcomings. Filing on multiple criteria wasn’t easy and when you needed to retrieve something by a different search criterion as where you stored it under, then you had a problem.

Now we have the technology to make everything searchable on all kinds of criteria. And we hardly need to think about how to retrieve what we store when we store it. And that is because we can retrieve everything on the complete content of what we’ve stored. To do that we need to stop using paper and find the best tools to make this process as smooth as possible. (In part 3 and 4 of this series I will tell you how).

3. Easy Storage

Do I need to explain? Probably not. Everyone knows that nowadays we can store huge amounts of content, even on small devices. I’m writing this post on a mobile device that can hold about 250,000 books. Think about that! Before I worked paperlessly, I used to lug a lot of paper around in my briefcase. Not anymore!

These days I only carry a laptop, an iPad, and an iPhone. And when I travel light I don’t bring the laptop anymore. And still I have everything I need with me on these devices, and everything is easily searchable. So I have more information with me than ever before, it’s easier to access this information, and I have it all with me, even when I only carry my iPhone.

4. Sharing

Since the heading is ‘Sharing’ I will share something with you: I’m that old that I remember the first PC and the Apple II. I’m that old that I still remember the time that a mouse was just a small animal that couldn’t be replaced by a trackpad. You can imagine that sharing written information was far more challenging than it is now. If I want, I can share everything that is on my iPad within seconds with people all over the world. So why would I still work with paper?

There are more reasons I can think of why working paperless is a good thing. But let’s not overdo it. I think I made my point. So please stay tuned for the next post on working paperless: Part 3: How.

And, of course, watch this week’s video!

See you on the next one!


  1. Pingback: Working Paperless - Part 1 Origins - Hard or Smart

  2. Pingback: Working Paperless - Part 3 HOW - Hard or Smart

  3. Pingback: Tools for Working Paperless - Hard or Smart

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