Friday, 24 July 2015

The paperless office ...

I grew up in a world of paper.

There were no word processors, only typewriters. Memos were written by hand. Mail meant writing a letter putting it in an envelope, sticking a stamp on it and dropping it in a mailbox. Social media meant talking about a newspaper report over a drink with friends.

Later on there were things like troff and eventually LaTeX, but there wasn't anything like a proper word processor until the advent of WordStar. (For my sins I actually used to teach WordStar and can still remember the macro commands).

Even though eventually we all got access to wordprocessors and email storage was expensive – always the luddite I always used to just bump up students' filestore if they asked – so stuff tended to be printed out and filed just as it would have been in the nineteenth century.

Same with meeting paperwork, expenditure reports, and all the gubbins of system management and solution delivery.

And because I'm a creature of habit I ended up with a 3 drawer filing cabinet in my office full of paper that no one ever looked at.

Well we're moving to a new open plan office next week. All the documents in that filing cabinet exist on my computer, on the various project sites and wikis, or archived using evernote or onenote.

So I took the three drawers of paper, dumped the non-confidential stuff in the paper recycling bin and shredded the rest.

I reckon I can find most things if required. Yes my online indexing might not be the most systematic, but it's no worse than searching through drawers full of stuff.

It's just possible I've finally achieved the paperless office ...

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