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Using too much paper?

Ink cartridges aren’t the only consumable that can cost you. Paper isn’t as expensive, but if you use a lot of it, it can definitely make an impact on your budget. And if you use a lot of it unnecessarily—well, that’s bad for the environment and bad for your bank account. Here are a few tips for cutting down your use of printer paper—whether you’re at home or at the office.

Be selective about what you print. You may not need to keep paper records of everything. Consider saving some important documents electronically instead. If you’re worried about the fallibility of electronic storage, store the documents on several different disks or thumb drives as well as on your computer. That way, you should be able to retrieve the documents from a different source even if your computer catches a virus or your first backup disc gets scratched.

Print on both sides of a piece of paper. This can cut your paper usage by half if you do it every time. Print on both sides of a piece of paper—set your printer to print this way if it has the capability, or take the time to print each page individually and reload the paper manually if it’s a smaller document. This may seem like a lot of work if your printer won’t do it automatically, but if you only do it for small print jobs it can still save you paper and money.

Be careful of what you print online. Sometimes it can be tough to tell how long a page is online until you print it. If you only need a certain section of a web page, copy the section you need into a word document and print that instead. If you need the whole thing but aren’t sure how long it will be, simply cut and paste only the text into a word document. You may find that you don’t need everything if it’s that long—or it’s not worth printing out at that length. Cutting and pasting the text into a word document for printing purposes can also save on printer ink.

Use the Preview feature. You should be able to look at a picture of how each document will look when you print it by clicking on “Print Preview” under “File.” This will keep you from printing a document that doesn’t look the way it should—before you fix the error. You can also check to see if any lines of the document go over into an extra page—you may be able to adjust your margins or edit the document down so that it fits on one page.

Communicate via email. Some traditionalists bemoan the downfall of the hardcopy letter. But it may not be such a bad thing to send your letters primarily via email. Don’t print out letters and send them in envelopes. Instead, use your email account and contact friends, family and others via email—and you’ll save plenty of money in postage as well as in paper. In addition, if you send important graphics and documents as PDF or Word attachments via email, you can save on paper as well.

Don’t copy—scan. If you have a multi-function printer or access to a copier at work, don’t copy every document. Instead, scan the original and make a digital copy. Once you have that, you can email it or store it on your computer—and you won’t need to waste paper or ink making another hard copy of the original. This can also save you plenty of money on paper at the office or at home.

A lot of paper is wasted in the office and even at home—and cutting down on how much you use can reduce costs as well as making your office or home more environmentally friendly. Be careful of how much you print—don’t print unless you absolutely have to, and send most important documents and communications via email. When you do print, use both sides of the page and use the Preview feature first to make sure you’ll only have to print once. With these and other measures, you should be able to reduce your paper waste.

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Maybe you’ve had the same printer since you started your business—but times change. Even if your printer still runs well, it may be time to upgrade it—and it may be better for your business if you do. Here are a few signs to look for to know when it’s time to get a new printer for your office.

 

Your printing needs change. Maybe at first you were only printing out the occasional invoice. But now you’ve got a bigger company, and you’re printing company brochures, employee newsletters, and other graphics-heavy documents on your printer.  If that’s the case, you may need a printer that handles colour printing on cardstock and glossy paper better than the one you have now. Or maybe you’d like to be able to print out proposals on your office printer—but continually printing out documents over a hundred pages long on that slow machine would hold up everyone else’s work. If that’s the case, you may need a fast laser printer instead of that slow Inkjet.

Your employees are getting frustrated. Every printer has the occasional paper jam. But are your employees always complaining about the printer? If your printer has employees standing nervously by to load each sheet in the tray manually to prevent a paper jam—or digging into the machine’s innards on every print job to fish out bits of paper—chances are your printer is on its last legs.

broken Printer

You need to connect more employees to the printer. Not every printer can handle heavy networking demands. It may be that your office is growing to the point that your printer can’t handle being networked to the increased number of computers you’ve got. If that’s the case, don’t hold onto that printer for sentimental or budgetary reasons; get a new one that can handle your office’s demands.

You’re having trouble finding the ink. You know your printer is a bit too old when you can no longer easily find the right brand of ink and toner for your model. If you’re continually going from store to store to find the right ink and toner cartridges for your printer—or if your favorite third-party printer ink company doesn’t carry that model anymore—it may be time to upgrade your printer.

Your company is growing. Your printer may have been perfect when your business was just you and your laptop. But now that you have other employees, you may need a printer you can network to multiple different computers. Shop around for a printer designed for office use, and you should be able to find one that will be a better fit for your growing business.

Shaking Hands

You’re running out of ink faster than you did. If you’re printing more than you used to at the office, it could be that you need a more ink-efficient printer. If you are continually running out of ink and your budget for ink and toner has gone up significantly, this is definitely the case—especially if you bought your first printer because it was cheap, not necessarily because it was cost-efficient to use over the long term. If ink is costing you a lot of money, look into a more cost-efficient machine—one that doesn’t use as much ink as your current printer.

There are better models out there. If you’ve had your printer for longer than two or three years, chances are there’s a model out there that works better, networks more smoothly, prints faster, uses less ink and has less expensive cartridges. Technology can improve significantly over the span of a few years, and a new printer may be able to save you a lot of money on ink—and give you better, faster printouts as well.

Even if your printer isn’t malfunctioning, it may still be obsolete.  And if it isn’t working as well as it did, don’t frustrate your employees by making them deal with frequent paper jams and malfunctions every day. Above all, don’t hang on to an outdated printer—you could be wasting money and time. Instead, check your office supply stores for an office printer that can do everything you need it to do—in less time, and using less ink.

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How to Extend the Life of Your Printer

December 9, 2009

Finally found a printer that takes relatively inexpensive ink? Then chances are you’d like to hang on to it. Many printers need to be replaced every two years or so, but your printer could potentially last much longer. Here are a few tips for making sure your printer lasts as long as you need it [...]

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What to do With Your Old Printer

December 3, 2009

These days it can be tough to figure out what to do with your old, worn out computer equipment. Things are upgraded so quickly you may find you are swimming in a sea of outdated or broken monitors, PCs and printers. When it comes to disposing your old printer, you have several options. If you [...]

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The History of Printing

December 3, 2009

The next time you are frustrated with the production of your printer, consider how far this technology has come. While you may be infuriated, having to wait several seconds for a slow printer, or you are tired of unclogging yet another paper jam, it has not always been so speedy and convenient to print images. [...]

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When to Buy a Printer

November 18, 2009

Interested in getting a good deal on your next printer?  Printer manufacturers make most of their money on consumables, so they tend to sell printers rather cheaply to begin with—but at certain times of year, prices may go down even more. You may be able to find the best price on your new printer if [...]

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Be Your Own Tech Expert: How to Fix Your Printer

November 16, 2009

Maybe your tech guy’s out of the office—or you’re at home, and at home you don’t have a help desk on call. You have something important to print out—but your printer malfunctions. What do you do? Don’t panic. We’ll show you how to be self-sufficient in fixing printer problems, no matter how much of a [...]

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Best Option For Travel Printers

October 5, 2009

It may surprise some home-bodies to know that a lot of people are looking for a convenient printing option they can carry with them. There are a number of reliable, compact printers on the market that are great for on-the-go printing. Choosing the best option for you is easy once you understand the features available [...]

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How to Print Your Own Stationery

September 2, 2009

For some people, handwriting letters and sending them via the Royal Mail Postal Service is a thing of the past. However, there are times when a handwritten note is the only appropriate method of communication. It may be a thank you note, a get well message, or a chance to have your child communicate with [...]

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How to Create Unique Gift Tags With Your Printer

August 25, 2009

Anyone that has ever wrapped a gift late on Christmas Eve, only to discover there are no more gift tags, knows that having the ability to make your own would save a great deal of frustration. Gift tags help you identify the recipient of a wrapped gift, and help the recipient identify you as the [...]

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