For years and years, our industry has talked about getting rid of the paper. As we make our systems more electronic, we give ourselves the opportunity to be able to create yet more paper. After all, all it now takes is the touch of a print button to print whatever we want. However, we do see some companies making progress at getting rid of their paper. And considering that “going paperless” is an outcome rather than a true goal, it’s no wonder that many companies don’t quite make it there.
However, the situation has always been that we have a lot more paper than anyone realizes. And every once in awhile, one company or another throws away their electronic system to go back to paper (because whatever software they implemented didn’t meet their needs in a practical manner). Those of you who read articles regarding cutting back on the paper you produce start to think yours is the only company left with a lot of paper, but it’s not true. You’ve got plenty of company.
One thing that surprises me, though, is all the paper still in our private lives. I happen to be a rather paper-based person and I know plenty of others who are. With that said, I’m still surprised that the hobby of scrapbooking has become so popular and stayed popular for so many years. I’m amazed that, at a time when we’re talking about the newer generations being less paper-based with all the electronics available to them, that something so paper-based as scrapbooking is so popular. Could it be that we all like to have something tactile to work with?
The reason I mentioned scrapbooking is to tie-in something more business-related. As it happens, I went to one of the big office supply stores, the other day. I happened to be looking around a bit and ran across an entire section of paper-based tools that were obviously meant for businesses. There was an entire section of cutting tools to cut paper with perforations, with squiggly lines, and other choices. Once again, this wasn’t a section at the craft store, but an area devoted to businesses, with the display around it obviously aimed at businesses not homes. So, my thought is this: If the office supply store can devote an entire section of their store to paper-cutting tools for businesses, then I think we’re still using a lot of paper.