I’ve known several white collar folks who have spent their last hours in the office before a business trip printing off material to read on the plane. Laptop battery lives are never long enough, and nobody wants to waste it on reading. So, killing a few trees can buy a bit more in-flight productivity. This means filling a bag until it’s almost to the point of bursting, though, as well as having to lug around a few extra pounds. Once on the plane, paper is strewn across the tray table and become sdifficult to manage. It’s a colossal pain in the ass, but absent a better alternative, trafficking in paper is the best available alternative.
It doesn’t have to be this way any more – not with the Kindle.
For travelers, an e-reader like the Kindle (or similar products from Sony or Barnes & Noble) already eases the travel load by taking the books out of your bag and sparing you some space and weight. These devices can also alleviate the paper problem. The Kindle can handle PDF files, so you can catch up on the reports, white papers and other industry information you usually put off reading until the wheels go up. You recapture time lost to printing (for you or for your assistant), and you obviate the need to carry and sift through all that paper.
There are several other advantages as well:1. Getting through security
Nobody associates paper with inefficiency at an airport security checkpoint. It doesn’t set off any alarms and won’t get you a pat-down. But, when you’re extracting your laptop out of your bag, you could wind up pulling a stack of paper out with it, which you’ll have to shove back in there while people are waiting in line behind you … impatiently.
2. Waiting at the gate
The dynamic here is similar to the one on the plane, though not as drastic because you can spread out a bit. Even with more space, you’ll still have to find the paper you want and get it back into your bag, which isn’t life-changing, but it’s a headache you don’t need when you’re traveling.
3. You get more done during the flight
You lose time sifting and sorting paper when you’re on the plane – shuffling, stuffing, trying to make it all fit again. The e-reader is a single device that’s slim and easy to fold and slide. And, you won’t have to reorganize your documents when you get to the office or your hotel room.
4. Packing to go home
Doubtless, you’ll be able to jettison much of the stuff you printed for your first flight before you return home. But, you’ll probably print out a new stack for the new flight. The last hours of a business trip tend to be packed already, so you may not have time to do all the printing you want. Even if you do, it’s still another item on the checklist that you’d probably prefer to skip. With the e-reader, your to do list gets a little bit shorter.
Read more White Collar Travel here.