I hate paper. It just accumulates, then gets ‘filed’, and eventually I forget where I’ve filed it. I hate it, it takes up too much room and in this digital age it’s often pretty pointless.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when printed material is suitable for purpose. A nicely designed piece of design on some really nice stock, I like! Paperwork, bills, invoices, forms etc, I don’t!
One of my biggest objectives for my business is use as little paper as possible, to become Paper-Less. It’s not hard to achieve, especially as I’m doing it right from the start, it just requires a little thought when dealing with certain things.
Bills, Bank Statements and Paperwork from Other People
All my bills are online. My mobile phone bill, all my bank statements and billing for services I use for running the business is dealt with online. I try to opt out of marketing where possible too, particularly postal marketing. This reduces the number of letters and envelopes I get through the post from suppliers and, thankfully, my volume of junk is virtually zero.
My Own Paperwork
I create virtually ZERO paperwork. I send all invoices, contracts and proposals electronically. I use an online project management system so all project correspondence is sent digitally. I have taken the care to ensure that all the documents I produce are in a printable format should a client want a hard copy, the choice is entirely theirs.
You Can’t Escape it All!
When a Screen…
… just doesn’t compare to a good old pen and paper. As a designer there are times when no screen can replace being able to scribble out thoughts, ideas and initial wire-framing. For this I use recycled layout paper which in turn gets recycled when I’ve finished with it.
Everyone gets receipts from shops and suppliers. As much as I hate them they’re part of book-keeping so I have to keep them. I scan and recycle all my receipts, storing them digitally.
Business Cards and other Marketing
Even with vCards and other methods of sending contact details digitally there’s no substitute for being able to give someone a physical business card. It makes it a lot harder to dismiss as there’s less chance of those details getting forgotten within someone’s phone or address book.
I doubt I’ll create much but a printed document or brochure is still a powerful marketing tool even in the digital age.
Paper and printed material still has its place and, to be quite honest, I hope it always will but in my world, the less of it I have the better. Therefore, I aim to create far less paper than I really need to, I am paper-less.