Is Paper Becoming Passé?

Published on July 1, 2013

In this age of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers, viewing and receiving data either online or through mobile technology has become a normal part of 21st century lives. Why send a letter when you can instantly communicate with someone via e-mail, cell phone, or social media? How about receiving magazine and newspaper subscriptions on your tablet instead of at your front door? What about digital textbooks, or libraries entirely based online?

Technological devices are starting to win out over paper alternatives in a variety of workplaces. Most recently, JetBlue airline joined ranks with Southwest, American, and United Airlines in adopting iPads to replace bulky paper manuals. This replacement saves airlines money on paper and fuel costs. JetBlue claims it helps improve the overall customer experience as well, creating better communication resources from cockpit to cabin (such as real-time weather updates). Jeff Martin, JetBlue’s senior VP of operations, states that this update brings Jetblue "one step closer to a paperless cockpit" - the end goal?

Go Paperless

Becoming paperless is a trending idea, even outside of big corporations. Adam Dachis of Lifehacker, for example, wrote a compelling article entitled "How I Went Completely Paperless in Two Days," in which he used a relatively inexpensive personal scanner with an wireless (Eye-Fi X2) memory card (to help transfer scans to your computer via Wi-Fi), and a free digital paper organizer (Evernote). Once the general bulk is transferred and categorized, he says the upkeep is really simple and helps to eliminate clutter and improve organization.

Dachis' post was enough to put Geek | Chicago's Chief Geek Jason Finn over the edge (he was already teetering) to a paperless lifestyle. 

Today's paper-eliminating technology can make even the most disheveled professional seem downright organized. - Jason Finn

Science Fiction writer Jamie Todd Rubin, Evernote's Paperless Lifestyle Ambassador, also promotes a paperless lifestyle. She writes weekly blog posts dedicated exclusively to tips on going paperless.

Going paperless seems relatively easy to accomplish, and could be a good way to cut down spending. Have you thought about going paperless? Have any companies around you started to adopt technology in place of paper?