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7 Ways to Be Greener and More Productive with Your Printer

7 Ways to Be Greener and More Productive with Your Printer

Your printer is probably a utilitarian workhorse that you don’t think about until it’s broken. Why not spend a moment to consider the use of your printer so you can save some time and some paper too? Here are seven practical, easy-to-implement tips:

1. Keep supplies at the point of use. You can use Velcro (I like Industrial Strength) to stick frequently used supplies directly onto the side of your printer or the printer cart. This photo shows a rubber stamp that says “FAXED” that is attached with Velcro to the side of this printer/fax machine, for example.

fax stamp

    2. Print in “draft” mode to save ink. Using the draft printing mode of your printer’s settings can save you ink (and therefore money). When you need to print something formally, you can change the settings to normal.

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    scratch paper tray

      3. Keep a scratch paper tray. This photo at left shows paper trays located in the printer cart just beneath the printer, which have new, pristine paper in one tray and scratch paper in the other. When you print something that has only a few lines on it or otherwise can be used again, you can easily throw it in this tray.

      4. Make your printed documents come out in proper order. You can usually change your printer’s settings to print document pages in reverse order by default. The result? Papers come out already stacked in the right order, ready to staple. No more shuffling 36 pages of a document to reorder them! [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not all printers print backwards by default; test yours with a short document first.]

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      5. Use scratch paper by default, and print on new paper only when necessary. Before inserting a stack of scratch paper into your printer for use, put a sticky note on the back of the last page of the stack.

      scratch paper

        Then put that stack on top of some new paper. (See photo at right for illustration) When you’re ready to print on new paper, you can see the sticky note indicating the bottom of the scratch paper stack and pull it out quickly.

        6. Label your printer’s particularities. Are you (or your coworkers) forever asking, “Now which way does the paper go in? Face up or down?” Manufacturers often indicate this on the printer itself in some kind of international symbol language nobody seems to notice, but you can make it simple by just printing a label that says “FACE UP.” Here are a couple of examples.

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        face up label

           

          paper feed label

            7. Just don’t print. Of course, it’s better to not print at all if you can possibly do that. If you don’t already have software to make PDF documents, by all means, get that capability so you can print to PDF instead.  Try Adobe Acrobat or Cute PDF. Also try SnagIt (one of my personal favorites- see my previous article “A Professional Organizer’s Favorite Software” for more). SnagIt takes screenshots of regions of your screen or even scrolling web pages (saving the links!).

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            Appreciate your workhorse printer today! And if your printer is cranky, maybe implementing these tips will make it be nicer to you.

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            Last Updated on May 24, 2019

            How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

            How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

            If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

            Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

            1. Create a Good Morning Routine

            One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

            CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

            You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

            If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

            The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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            2. Prioritize

            Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

            Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

              If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

              Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

              How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

              3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

              One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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              Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

              Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

              Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

              And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

              4. Take Breaks

              Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

              To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

              After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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              I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

              5. Manage Your Time Effectively

              A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

              How do you know when exactly you have free time?

              By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

              With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

              Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

              A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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              20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

              6. Celebrate and Reflect

              No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

              Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

              Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

              More Articles About Daily Productivity

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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