De-motivating reading du jour

July 9, 2009 at 7:19 pm (office, paperless, Rant)

Today over at Productivity501, one of my personal favorite blogs I have on RSS, they did an informal study of bloggers to see which areas they still prefer to be “low tech” in. The resounding answer?

An old-fashion book is still better than an MP3 or a PDF. There’s just something inexplainable about holding a good, hard-cover book in your hand. It feels more important. It feels like there’s actual knowledge contained within.

And it’s easier on the eyes too.

Michael Morton from Marketing Monster (rss)


Absolutely!  I use a paper calendar.  I just could not give up being able to see everything at a glance!

Ariane Benefit from Neat & Simple Living (rss)


My To Do List! I’ve tried numerous online apps as well as the usual Outlook/Note functions but what has always worked best for me is a simple spiral bound notebook in which I can write my to do lists, then tear them out when I’m done or need to re-write one.

Plus I can carry it everywhere easily and it takes 2 seconds to open up and scribble something in, instead of the time it takes to power up the laptop.

Lea Woodward from Location Independent Living (rss)


People just do.not.want to give up paper.  What suprised me is the number of people who are very tech-centric, such as bloggers, who should well know how to accomplish the same things without the use of paper. But yet, it continues.

I’m ready for the culture change though I don’t think it’ll come anytime soon if people who have all of the tools at their fingertips to perform their functions paperlessly simply aren’t because it’s not as convenient. Of course changing habits isn’t convenient!



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Be careful what you order

June 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm (Helpfulness, Nudge, office, paperless, Rant)

So this came in the mail for me today:



It really got me thinking. OK so nowhere on this sheet does it say that you’re signing up for the website listing (I sure as heck am not going to pay $177 to be listed in the PAPER phone book!) so I went to see what all they were selling me, just out of morbid curiosity I suppose, because they weren’t readily advertising physical space in the paper phone book.

The website then says this:



GET YOUR FREE LISTING NOW! I’m just wondering what exactly they want me to pay $177 for. Paper phonebook space??!? YIKES! I’m glad I checked this out. I’d feel terrible if I helped perpetuate the paper phone book proliferation by supporting this serice with money.

I think we’ll just stick with our Google Local Business Center listing for right now. It’s free too and I don’t have to figure out if they’re trying to help me or hurt me by subversively trying to get $ for advertising in the paper phonebook.

The Paperless Assistant

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CareerTrack mailing list fiasco

June 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Rant)


Part of being paperless is combating the paper forces that you involuntarily receive via USPS. The most frustrating industry I’ve seen thus far as far as egregious paper mail has been the training seminars circuit, namely CareerTrack.

I called this morning to be removed from their paper mailing list (after it took them 8 weeks to remove me from their e-mailing list!), I kindly explained that my job is now paperless as well. I was met with:

“Ma’am I need to let you know that it can take up to six months to be removed from our mailer list. Our brochures are printed six months in advance.”

SIX MONTHS! That hurts me!

Pained and disappointed,

The Paperless Assistant

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This is a rant.

May 4, 2009 at 12:31 am (Rant)

This is a rant.

I’m tired of businesses who are completely clueless.

I know, I know, I may have unrealistic expectations of people for expecting businesses to have already implemented “aggressive sustainability” practices in their processes but I’m tired of the same situation happening over, and over, and over:

Account Manager: “OK thank you for your payment. Would you like me to fax your invoice payment confirmation to you?”

Me: “Actually, is there anyway I could get you to email me as well as my future invoices? I’m paperless so I don’t really use the fax.”

Account Manager:“ummm, can I put you on hold for a second?”

Me: “Sure, take your time!”

~1-1.5min hold

Account Manager: “Hi thanks for holding. I can print out the invoices and confirmations, scan it then email them to you. What is your email address?”

Me: “Oh, ok. Well I would just like it to be mailed then please, if you’re going to just print it out.”

Honestly at that point I’d rather them spend the money to employ the USPS and mail the invoices and payment confirmations. Maybe it’ll put added financial weight on the company to mail envelopes that are becoming increasingly more expensive and it’ll become such a burden that they’ll be forced to evolve.

The next step of my process then is to have the receptionist scan the paper as soon as I receive it directly to a shared folder on a shared network drive. That’s way more effort than is necessary if businesses would just have a system that completely removes the elements of printing + scanning + postage + OUR cost of manpower to scan the document to serve their customers with.

You would think though that because of the cost saving advantages many businesses would be gung-ho for the idea but, to me, it seems like they’re in the dark ages. They could get positive PR and more business from people like me who choose which vendors service our office if they would email/e-blast (NOT MAIL) their customers this information.

Yet, they don’t adapt. I’m annoyed because I’m tired of asking though I know it’s the act of asking that is my contribution in addition to the actual act of going paper-less. It brings awareness to customers wanting this service, whatever their motives may be.

I personally can see some, albeit sparse, evidence of this “recession” being good for businesses. It’ll strengthen those who have their stuff together. I, personally, want to deal with companies who have altruistic mentalities engrained in their business models.  I’m anxious for where you have to opt-in to get paper anything from businesses. 🙂

Patiently, anxiously yours,

The Paperless Assistant

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The bane of the Paperless world

April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm (How-To, Rant)

 Here’s the thing: If you want to be truly paperless, you have to first and foremost be truly vocal about it. Even then, it’s nearly impossible to be completely paperless for at least one reason: Vendors with no paperless option.


One question I find myself asking over, and over, and over is “Hi this is {d.birdy} calling from Company of my Employment, I was calling because I have been receiving your invoices by mail and was wondering if you have any sort of paperless or email invoicing option?” The second thing I always say right after that: “I’m trying to go paperless and I’ve been able to get my invoices emailed from most of the places I interact with so was hoping you would have the same service.”


The second statement has been the most effective nudge for me because it not only alerts the vendor that other vendors are offering this option to their clients (so logically, to stay competitive so ought they) but it also reinforces their knowledge of my desire to have paperless options. Every time I receive an invoice, I call and ask for paperless options. Sure, it might be a pain in the neck for everyone involved that I’m being annoying persistent but there’s some saying about the squeaky wheel getting the most grease that I’m sure is fitting here.


Moral of the story: the worst thing they can say is no. If people are vocal and keep asking everyone benefits so, keep it up!

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Staples Invoicing Rant

April 18, 2009 at 10:55 am (Rant)

Dear Staples,


Your monthly Invoice Detail process is downright ridiculous. You sent me ELEVEN pieces of paper, many of which had only one item number on them just to tell me that, on single sided printed paper, you owe us $16.74. I pretty much am never going to order again from you other than to use up the $16.74 in credit we now have. Your invoicing process is not only  an environmental hazard and eco-irresponsible, it is a sham that seems purposefully put together for a lot of “accidental” double payment for products.


The left hand also does not know what the right hand is doing… You report I have past due invoices when I have documentation showing otherwise from when I spoke in-person to a credit dept. representative THREE times about this same issue on this same invoice number. Maybe when you get your junk together I’ll come back but until then, GOOD RIDDANCE!



The Paperless Assistant

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