måndag 30 september 2013

The paperless society - RANT

I was reading Well Planned Life's blog post about Evernote and Post-It collaborating, and this quote here made me think of the paperless society and its implications:
One thing about CNET’s article that threw me though is the quote from Evernote’s CEO [Phil Libin]: “’Paperless as a concept is stupid… The goal is to get rid of stupid uses of paper.’” 
Let’s break this down.  I agree with the first part—I don’t like the concept of an all or nothing approach to paper versus technology.  [...] However, the second part, that just doesn’t make sense to me.  Who is to say what is a “stupid use of paper”? 
 Mr. Libin's statement actually resonated with me on numerous levels. First and foremost as a lover of all things paper. I am an avid user of Evernote, Dropbox and many other digital and electronic tools such as Kindle, a smartphone etc., but there is just nothing that can replace my beloved paper notebook for class, Filofax for external-braining (yes, now it is a word) and Post-Its for those small reminders that normal people, for some reason, seem to remember without any issues (like bringing lunch, or use floss... It is not just me is it?). Emotional side, check!
Second, I work at a national agency as a registrar, so I am surrounded by paper all day long. However, they are slowly but surely (trying to) convert to all-digital communication within the agency as well as with citizens. As a whole I am a skeptic, I understand what they are coming from, but I am not convinced that it is in the citizens' or the country's best interest 100% of the time. In this aspect, the "stupid use of paper"-part is the best approach I think - and there seems to be a stirring amongst the registrars of my agency to try to eliminate the stupid uses of paper. (Unfortunately I do not want to go in to details of what I do exactly, first of all it would be very boring, very time consuming, and the post would just go on and on.. And my privacy of course ;) ) Work, check!
Third, when it comes to studying, I rarely learn if I do not write it down! I am primarily a tactile learner, I learn by doing. That does not help when you are enrolled in university studying linguistics. The only way I am able to learn what I need to learn (if it is on the boring side) is by writing. It. Down. When I do, I get pretty good grades. When I do not, I fail miserably. Paper all the way it is. School, check!

To respond to Well Planned Life, I think a stupid use of paper is wasting a piece of paper. As an individual, a stupid way of using paper may be to have several copies when there are ways of only using one. A practical implementation of the Evernote/Post-It could be if you have an opportunity to work from home but know you use Post-Its as reminders at work, upload it to Evernote and you do not have to write another to have at home/take it with you/write it down somewhere else. Or if you need to share the post it with a colleague... I could go on. Though I do think that the one who is to decide if it is a stupid use of paper or not is the person using it. If you use Evernote for everything as many people do, it may be an efficiency thing to keep it all-in-one-place without going through the trouble of writing it down yet again.

Ranty McRantRant. I do not know if I make sense. Rant.
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