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Do you still print on Paper?

Discussion in 'More Resources' started by Tim, May 27, 2015.

  1. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Am I the only person that doesn't use paper?

    I also wanted to say that you can get FTM2014 for $99 or £39 from Amazon, both of these includes 6 months subscription to Ancestry.
  2. LynneB

    LynneB LostCousins Member

    When I first started researching five years ago, I used a ton of paper (the reverse side of photocopies I hadn't used in class) but now I "make do" with a desktop PC using FTM 2010, an Excel spreadsheet and the very occasional note to myself in Word!

    I used to draw little tree diagrams to make sense of relationships or to compare two different trees but experience has taught me to do that on the computer. And I'd make long lists of all possible families but no more -- experience is a great teacher!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I thought I had nothing to add in the posting until I came across your question asking if you were the only one who doesn't use paper (staying on the subject of computers and printers of course). My answer might be, probably yes, allowing that I cannot speak for others - any more than answering a similar question from the lady who asked if she was the only one using a Mac? However on this matter I can speak for myself and suggest I probably represent the other end of the 'paper' spectrum.

    I like printouts of things to keep in files, even if saved to a PC (with possible exception of photos). I type letters to elderly relatives who do not have computers, I keep hard copies of letters I write where an email will not suffice. I print off recipes which I store in a box file in the kitchen and appointment and birthday reminders to pin on our kitchen notice board. My wife insists on hard copies of any email she sends for whatever reason. In short I (we) use paper. If that goes against having green credentials well so be it but my wife likes to return email copies when she has finished with them for her own re-use.(bless!). Oh and yes we are avid recyclers of things, including paper of course.:)
  4. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    The trouble is Bob that I am brought up in a work environment and ethic that states that as soon as something is printed off then it becomes out of date.
    The source is only ever up to date and printed material is by nature questionable.

    Obviously work and family history are not quite the same. But. The printouts you have and the deductions you have made mean nothing to the people who look at the cut down version of your tree on Ancestry. (You have said you keep you full version on Tribal)

    But back to the question, why use paper? How often do you refer to your stack of paper? What can't be solved by doing a CTRL+F?

    There are a number of discussions on the Forum about Family History Software, Lost Cousins, GEDCOMs and FTAnalyzer and none of them are paper based. Granted they allow you to take snapshots or images of that data, but it is the data its self that becomes paramount.

    I'm not sure what the full answer is. Original documents won't change, but the transcriptions and family history will change the way we interrupt them.

    Other people will only ever connect with the data you share electronically...
  5. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I can agree up to a point but not totally. Individual facts that don't change will remain current and a printed version will not be out of date.
    With family history, most facts will not change but extra facts may be added so a document with many facts included COULD get out of date.
    Also, there is nothing special about printouts. The information contained in a computer can be just as much questionable and out of date.
    I would add that any printout OUGHT to be date stamped so that more recent changes to the source material can be appraised for possible inclusion and reprinting. Often a scribbled note alongside the printout is sufficient.

    Overall, I think that I would side with Bob. Generally, information that is printed on paper is much easier to find and display/discuss with others than on a computer screen although there may be a few specific instances where the reverse is true.

    Not yet, thank goodness!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Date stamping is a good idea, I wonder how many people do it?

    A lot of good points Bryman. However I don't think this statement is true.
  7. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    I always save an image of original docs. I used to print out everything but there is so much material now that I no longer do this. However, there is something about reading a document whilst holding the paper copy.....although where magnification is required, I prefer enlarging on screen than messing about squinting through a magnifying-glass.

    I do think Bryman has a point regarding sitting down and discussing a document with a other folk

    I can usually find a census image stored on my computer pretty quickly and don't really have storage space for paper copy.

    I must just add...where would we family historians be without a paper trail?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I have only just caught up on responses to my posting answering Tim so will get back on those when I have more time. One thing I do recall was M&S years ago (in the 90's I think) announcing that they were going to eliminate or cut down on their paper trail in stores and within their supply network. At the time an office colleague's wife worked at M&S Head Office in London (Baker Street I think but could be wrong). I met up with her over time at parties and gatherings and enquired how the paper trail was going? She confided that the 'powers that be' had decided it was not working as intended and had in fact caused more problems than solved. What began as a good idea largely (but I am sure not wholly) fell by the wayside and a paper trail of sorts had again to be reintroduced. I have no idea about the final outcome as I retired and contact ceased. But I recall it now as relevant to this discussion not so much about print outs but just doing away with paper...and what about the art of origami?o_O
  9. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    In the 90's it was too early for companies to adopt a paperless office. However now paperless works well.

    More and more people are now working from home (myself being one). I get emails which I never print, files are saved to shared folders, I have a VOIP phone and we use Instant Messaging and webcams.

    But it always amazes me when I go into the office, there are still people who print out every email they get! It must take them ages to print and when they get replies, they then must have to find their original print and replace it with the latest reply.

    In the end, I suppose it's down to what you're used to.
  10. Tomb

    Tomb LostCousins Member

    I use loads of paper but not for unnecessary tasks like printing out emails and the like. I am forever using my printers to print many drafts of different layouts every time I start a new family history book. It takes quite a bit of juggling to arrange dated pictures and poor graphics; then one must be sure that the printed version is legible and pleasing to the reader. Then of course there is the final draft copy to print and reread and make adjustments where required. Once satisfied I outsource my printing as they do a much better job.
  11. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    We have to remember that there are still people out there who don't have computers. I have shared information with my husband's aunt which wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't printed on paper.
    I can't imagine why anyone would want to print all incoming emails, though.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    I always save emails from family and friends as to me it is the modern equivalent of letter writing. I place them in named files e.g. Kay IN, Kay OUT.
    They are always there for reference and of course I can read my replies, which would not be the case with traditional letter writing.
  13. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

  14. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Well you can imagine my wife Margery and to be fair even I find her need to print out emails (incoming or outgoing) strange. She uses a laptop downstairs and when she requires to print anything -usually emails but also recipes, or a print screen from this or that website - she sends it to the wireless printer in my office/den upstairs, but doesn't bother to retrieve it as she knows I will pass it on in due course.

    When I ask her why she need to print out emails she says usually because each is a 'round robin' sort of thing where she engages with friends on a topic and likes to read offline what each has said. When the topic is over she returns the emails for re-use (she will tell me to add them to the printer tray when she is about to print out), and I also grab a page or two when I want to scribble a reminder note to myself. Each to his own I suppose:)
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think I've printed out a copy of my family tree since my father died 4 years ago - there has been no reason.

    However, I do use my printer quite a bit - sometimes to print out scientific papers that need serious study before I can write about them in my newsletter, sometimes to print out complex emails or draft replies, always to print out a draft of my newsletter before it goes out. Nevertheless, because I buy cheap compatible ink cartridges the cost of paper an ink is probably less than £1 a week, and all paper in this household gets recycled one way or another (and no, Bob, not in that way - the ink runs).
  16. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Yes I suppose that mirrors my own office practices of the 90's and early 00's. There would be a standard printer connected via the office intranet and periodically we would go to the printer in a separate room and retrieve emails, take photocopies and send faxes. BUT - you will like this but NOT- A LOT - a separate copy of outgoing emails was photocopied by the office junior, date stamped and put in the boss's In-tray. He would usually scan read them (discuss if of interest) then initial for filing (kept the office junior busy). Although he would not admit it he was also checking that no private emails were being sent. A bit daft really because the last thing anyone sending a private email would do would be to seek a printout. Of course you also kept your own files as it was also office practice to delete emails from the system monthly, saved to backups stored off site. Quite a palaver and it was simpler to look up an email in your own file. As they say 'old habits die hard'
  17. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    I'm with you emjay. I do exactly as you do.
  18. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I couldn't cope with printing out emails in or out to read later. I frequently want to read emails later but it is DRAMATICALLY quicker to press CTRL-F and enter the name of the person or the subject of the email or even some words I recall being in the body text of the email and find it than it would ever be to wade through reams of paper files.

    This is the key feature of electronic data it can be indexed in multiple ways. Paper is only ever indexed individually eg: as emjay suggests by individual in/out and sorted in a single manner eg: in this case I'd assume in date order. What happens when you want to find correspondence about topic X but can't recall if it was cousin Y or cousin Z that told you about it? Surely it takes forever to search paper files when an electronic search takes a minute or two at most?
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I too buy cheap compatible ink cartridges -always have since owning my first printer after finding out the cost of own brand replacement cartridges - and have long passed on to family my sources. Despite always appreciative of my being on hand to resolve her computer and printer problems the widow lady next door steadfastly refuses to let me direct her towards compatible replacements; even offering to get them in for her as she will not shop online. No the ink must match the printer brand as the salesman in the shop warned her what compatible inks would do to her computer. She pays a jaw dropping amount for her replacement cartridges so it is a good job really she only uses her printer on limited occasions for printing out craft patterns. Once again each to his (or in this case her) own.

    I was going to respond Peter to your last comment addressed to me about 'ink runs' with an every so friendly 'tosh' comment. Then the penny dropped so I saved my self the embarrassment. Well done.
  20. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Another use of the printed page
    In a way like Peter, I print out translations and/or language revisions, as it's much easier to spot errors etc on the printed page than on the screen. I also print copies of relevant parts of the family tree for people without computers, correspondence relevant to my research, wills and their transcriptions - quite a lot come to think of it! But not everyday chatty letters.

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