Saturday, June 23, 2007

The paperless office - closer than you think

Crooked Timber tells us that US paper consumption has been falling for years. It's easy to miss these slow changes, but I can confirm that my use has been declining.

Large screen high resolution dual monitors have reduced my need to use paper as a transient "screen extender" and full text search that works (Spotlight on OS X, Windows desktop search on XP*) has increased the value of digital documents. I still take notes on paper; the more decrepit my brain gets the less bandwidth I can spare for managing computer interaction -- also it's faster.

What does get printed now is transient. It's printed, distributed, read and recycled.

* Yes, I've gone to the dark side for XP search. Google Desktop Search is not as good, Yahoo gave up the ghost, and X1 is vanishing now that Vista has integrated search.

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