Monday, May 16, 2011

Paperless Trail

Paper has been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. If something paper is in my hand, there is a good chance it will be lost in less time than it took Chad Ocho Cinco to fall off a bull. I would have probably had straight A's in school if it wasn't for paper--constantly lost, misplaced, buried under a sandwich in the locker, enticing me to doodle instead of take notes paper.

My biggest problem as a lawyer wasn't the hours of work, subject matter, or other attorneys, it was the constant stress of paper. Paper was kind of important, particularly with these things called files that organized hundreds of pages of correspondence and filings and research. I would mix up papers, put things in the wrong files absent-mindedly (or sometimes drop my phone in a file absent-mindedly only to have a partner return the ringing file a few hours later). I would leave the file sitting on a chair or grab the wrong one.

Paper sucks.

I thought about this because my life has become largely paper free now. The only paper I handle is kid's homework, and I'm probably going to have to come up with some method to limit that. Thank God for all this technology where we can write and organize and do things without paper. It has saved me from myself. Even the litigation work I do now is entirely paperless, scanned images that allow me to review things without fear about misplacing something. And with the writing thing, all these blogger tools pretty much save themselves and make it really difficult to screw up. I remember when I first used one several years ago, and I frequently forgot to save something and lost it.

Now, I can completely forget to hit save, close the document, and go to bed, and come back in the morning. Now, rather than having several pieces of paper with notes that I mix up, I can have 20 tabs open, driving my wife crazy, but keeping things where I can find them. Now, I can have all my excel spreadsheets open, forget to save them, have the kids unplug the computer, and they are still recoverable. I'm not kidding, I have Excel Book 1(versions 1-8) on my laptop right now.

The lack of paper has saved me. It's kind of symbolic that with all the talk of newspapers being dead, it's the paperless trail that has brought me where I am, as a member of a new generation of writers on the internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment