Paperless homes and offices have been spoken about for many years. With advancements in technology and cloud based storage, there was a common perception that the need for paper would be a thing of the past.

The truth is very different. Very few homes are totally paperless, and even fewer businesses. But why? The fact is worldwide we are using 50% more paper now than we did 30 years ago, and in Australia the average person uses 230kg of paper every year.

Here are a few reasons why we still need printers in our home and office…

PAPER IS MORE CONVENIENT TO READ AND MARK UP

paper mark up

People simply find it easier and more convenient to print off a report, grab a pen and make notes and changes, highlight passages and underline important phrases. Of course it’s achievable digitally with programs like Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader, but being able to take your paper and pen anywhere to check the work for errors is far more appealing to most.

If the text is long, reading from a computer screen can be tiring and damaging to the eyes. We also have a tendency to skim over online documents, which increases the chance of errors being overlooked. On paper, text is more likely to be read thoroughly.

COST ISSUES

A printer and paper can be a far more cost effective solution than software and storage solutions, such as hard drives and cloud technology. For small businesses in particular this can be a problem, because every dollar spent on the business must ensure a return on investment.

Paper is cheap, can be stored easily and is readily available. Printers vary in price depending on the quality, but they are incredibly affordable and are set up in a matter of minutes.

PAPER AND DIGITAL CAN WORK TOGETHER

PAPER AND DIGITAL

Often you’ll need the convenience of both printer and digital solution to get the job done. For example, you may need to get a signed document to a business partner immediately. Printing the document, signing it, then faxing via an all-in-one printer (featuring a copier, scanner and fax machine), will ensure no matter what the situation, you have a solution. This gives you the flexibility of being able to convert paper documents to digital format, and vice versa when needed.

PAPER IS A GREAT MARKETING TOOL

paper as a marketing tool

Even today, with all of the amazing ways information can be presented digitally, there’s nothing quite as personal as having a piece of marketing collateral in your hands. From a simple brochure to a product report hundreds of pages long, being able to pick it up, take it away and read it is a powerful marketing tool.

Providing handouts to support your digital presentation is an ideal way to make the viewer feel part of the presentation, which can lead to sales of your product or service.

PAPER IS PERSONAL

The appeal of having something tangible to hold shouldn’t be underestimated as it incorporates another of the body’s senses into the equation, the sense of touch. Print media is a far more personal interaction between business and consumer. While online graphics is often competing with a multitude of other messages bombarding your senses, print media can often stand alone as single, strong message.

In the office, when people have a document in their hands, they can’t just delete it, open up another window or close the lid on their laptop and forget about it. Sure they can put the paper down and walk away, but it takes more effort and will always be waiting there for you to take action. Subconsciously, having a paper document in your hand says ‘this needs my attention now’, because more of their senses are involved. They can touch it and see it, and that can often be enough to provoke an immediate response.

WE AREN’T ALL READY FOR THE DIGITAL AGE TO TAKE OVER

not ready for digiral age

A large percentage of the Australian population are baby boomers, and still prefer to read newspapers, book, magazines, and receive their utility bills by traditional mail. There are many exceptions to this rule of course, but we can’t ignore this section of the community simply because they prefer paper over pixels. And if you own a business and this is your target market, you’ll need to cater for them accordingly.

Even some businesses prefer to receive paper copies over digital such as invoices, purchase orders and receipts when dealing with other businesses. The feeling of security when holding something tangible can be comforting.

HOUSEHOLD PRINT REQUIREMENTS

There are still so many uses for a printer in the home. Not everyone likes their photos in a digital photo frame, scrolling through a selection of your favourite holiday snaps indefinitely. People like to print them out individually, frame them and hang them on the wall. People also like to print boarding passes for the airport, lecture notes for university, labels for books or storage supplies, homemade birthday invitations, and all manner of other personal needs. The variety of uses for printers, whether by individuals or families, really is quite staggering.

While society has moved quickly into the digital age, providing a range of ways to live and conduct business without paper, the fact is we are using more paper than ever before. It’s easy, convenient and cheap, has multiple uses and somehow makes us feel good. So make sure you’ve got a good quality printer and a couple of reams of paper close by, because chances are no matter whether it’s for business or pleasure, you’re going to need them sooner rather than later.

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