Everyone could use less paper in their lives. It’s good for the environment, easier on your filing system, and just plain cheaper. Here are three ways you can cut down on the amount of printing you do and paper you consume:
- Get a duplexing printer The oldest trick in the book is printing on both sides of a sheet of paper, which effectively halves your overall output. But actually doing so is a hassle (which side goes up? which end goes in first?) unless you have a duplexing printer. Monochrome lasers like the Lexmark E250d ($199), Brother HL-5250DN ($249), and HP P2015d ($399) can output doubled-sided documents — something to consider the next time you’re shopping for a printer.
- Print to PDF Instead of printing and faxing (or mailing) a document, “print” a PDF and e-mail it instead. In the past we’ve explored many ways to turn documents into PDFs; check ‘em out if you’re not sure how to proceed. Then check out Unclutterer’s clever tip on another type of document you should always print to PDF.
- Sign documents electronically When a document needs your signature, that usually means printing it out, signing it, and then returning it to sender. To save paper, start by digitizing your signature, then adding it to your PDFs. Alternately, check out EchoSign, which takes the hassle out of signing documents digitally.