I’ve lost count of the amount of daybooks I’ve have thrown away over the years, full of to-do lists, notes, scribbles and doodles. The trusty daybook, the key to me being organised, or is it? Many times I’ve pondered the idea of doing away with all that paper, and wondered if I could really live without my trusted daybook. Surely in this day and age, it’s easy enough to do, right?
It was drilled into me when I joined the IT industry some 16 years ago; use this daybook, write down all of your notes, summarise at the end of the day a to-do list for the next day, and you’ll not go wrong. To be fair, it’s been a trusty companion throughout the years and has stood me well in ensuring I get things done. Surely though, in joining the IT industry, my tool box could’ve or should’ve, been electronic.
For years there has been talk of paperless offices, yet still we consume paper at astonishing levels. The average office user still continues to use a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. Where does most of that paper end up? 45% of printed paper ends up in the bin, hopefully the recycling bin. Although recycling paper does have a positive effect on landfill reduction, paper can only be recycled seven to ten times maximum, before the fibres break down. There will always be the need for wood pulp to be added to recycled paper, which ultimately has a negative effect on our environment.
What is my reason to strive for a paper free desk being driven? Well, helping to have a positive effect on our environment is of course as good a reason as any. I know my own actions alone will not save the planet, but at least I can contribute. But also, I work in the technology sector, so surely I should be embracing the great technological tools that have been developed for me to embrace a new way of working.
I’ve been trying to do this in some form of one way or another over recent years, utilising a number of different methods, calendars, CRMs and what not. But very recently, I was introduced to a mind mapping software by our technical director, John Donlon. Immediately, I realised that this could be it, this clever, simple piece of white boarding software, could be the answer I’ve been looking for. Of course, it’s easy to get excited by something shiny and new and think that this will be the answer to my paperless utopia. Saying and doing as we all know though will be the true test.
One thing for sure, I’m intent on doing away with my paper consumption and reducing my waste. I’m ready to fully embrace a new paper free desk, and move to a technology only desk. Wish me luck!