Archive for the ‘Paperless Solutions’ Category

My Year Without Paper in Review

December 31, 2018

Well,  it’s the last day of the year and I couldn’t let this end without posting a brief review of my year without paper.  I was successful in not printing anything at work this year and I rarely use paper anymore.  When I do, it’s second chance (immediately recycled paper).  I’ve found many creative solutions to using paper in my every day work.  Even at home I’m using less paper as I’m relying more on my Rocketbook and Elfinbook (a less expensive alternative) for note taking, list making and even songwriting.

The PaperSavers tribe at work has grown and we found an ally at the Office of Sustainability.  Also, the head of our Division funded us for 50 papersaver gift baskets.  We’ve begun distributing them via contests and targeting of teams who use the most paper in the District.  I’ll be sharing our tech alternatives at a national conference next year on online learning.

Here are some photo highlights:

money bags

The money bags on top of my desk continue to be a good conversation starter.  They represent the 3 million dollars spent on printing at our District copiers.

tips near printer

Members of the PaperSavers tribe have placed informative signs(written on second chance paper) near the printers on our floor.

gift baskets

These are some of the assembled papersaver gift baskets.

Rosie Christian

This teacher was one of the happy recipients of a gift basket.  She won this through a district-wide contest where we asked employees to share their papersaving tips.

So, what’s next? Our work and my avoidance of paper will continue into 2019.  The next goals are to distribute the remaining gift baskets-along with training sessions-, get budget numbers for our teams to compare, and find ways to call in rather than call out people using large amounts of paper.

Here’s to a wonderful and productive new year in 2019!

Alternatives to Paper when Brainstorming

July 5, 2018

light bulb signifying ideasA very popular use of easel pad paper and post-it notes are for brainstorming sessions with groups. My team and many others at my workplace use these materials for generating ideas and then sorting them. What they may not know is that that easel pad of paper costs approximately $40 and the post-it notes are $24 for a box. That’s some expensive brainstorming that happens simultaneously across the district and the cost is multiplied.  So…what are some non-paper alternatives to use for these exercises? Here are possible apps to use: Padlet, Google Doc templates, Google Slides, and Lucid Chart-a Google add on.

Padlet is a free cloud-based software that provides an online space that looks a bulletin board, a wall, or many custom backgrounds. After you open a Padlet page you give the link to others and they can add what really looks like post-it notes and then you can move them around to organize them. Some things I like about this software is that there is a mobile app and everything is user-friendly. Padlet is often used in K-12 classrooms so I know that adults can handle it easily.

Google apps provide multiple options to consider. Google docs has many templates such as for SWOT input. Take a look at a nice graphic one here.   You can also just insert a simple 4×4 table like this.  Alternatively I’ve used Google slides with users creating their own text boxes on a slide. Of course these text boxes can  be moved around, resized and reformatted. I’ve also used the comment feature to facilitate discussion around the ideas on a slide.

Finally, Google docs has an add-on called Lucidchart. I started with a P&ID basic design, took away the connectors and made the boxes look like post it notes. NOTE: for users to interact, fill in and move the idea boxes you have to share the design in Lucidchart. After it’s moved over to Google docs it can’t be edited. Editing has to take place in Lucidchart.

Here’s what my self-created chart looks like:

lucidchart screenshot

Hope these suggestions give you some ideas to move away from using paper.
Do you have alternatives for paper brainstorming that I haven’t included here? Let me know via comments!

Paperless Update

April 24, 2018

no-printerFour months into my year without printing things are going surprisingly well.  Members of my team produced a video (spoofing The Office) to encourage others to save paper/printing.  I compiled a comprehensive list of high tech, low tech, and no tech paperless solutions.  This Friday we’re making our first pitch to a curriculum team who will experience a dramatic presentation, with props like these IMG_3863 showing how much the District spends on making paper copies.  After sharing my paperless solutions, they’ll receive a gift basket (paid for with personal funds-no District money was used) from our Paperless Tribe.  IMG_3865

We’re asking that everyone cuts paper use/copying by just 1/3, not as drastic as my paperless path.

So…how is your year going?  Have you tried any paperless solutions?