It’s often been speculated that eventually, computers will replace the functions of paper stationary in the office. Whilst this prediction has certainly come true when it comes to document management, data storage, everyday communication and planning, paper stationary still performs a number of vital roles much more effectively than a computer does. In this article, we’ll be looking at five essential pieces of office stationary which digital technology has tried and failed to replace.
Thank you notes
Whilst a quick thank you email will suffice for everyday favours and transactions, when a big project winds up or a business partner undertakes a significant amount of work which benefits you, gratitude needs to be expressed in more concrete terms. Thank you notes are a thoughtful and elegant way to express your thanks and this is compounded by the fact that in 2018 it’s pretty rare to receive a hand-written card of any kind.
The practice of exchanging cards for business purposes was begun by European merchants in the 17th century and has continued as a time-honoured networking ritual ever since. Partaking in the ritual of exchanging business cards positions you as an established businessman with an understanding of how business etiquette operates. By extension, demonstrating your understanding of and adherence to business etiquette implies that you are both competent and adhere to the ethics of good business. These qualities ultimately make you a desirable professional to partner with.
The ritual of exchanging business cards can’t really be translated onto a digital platform, as it removes the personal nature of the transaction. Whilst there are plenty of other business networking techniques which can be successfully executed online, the simple act of swapping cards isn’t one of them.
Though iPads were once predicted to replace the humble notepad, nearly a decade has passed since iPad technology first entered the market and notepads remain a desktop staple. We have written before about studies that suggest notepads are better than tablets in terms of information retention. In addition to this, notepads never run out of charge, don’t distract you from the task at hand, and allows the user to draft ideas, sketch out graphs, and build up mind maps with no technical know-how required.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the e-card concept was incorporating animations, songs, videos and other interactive elements in a bid to reinvent the way we wish each other a happy festive season. However, this initial bid to overthrow the paper format has petered out. This is in part due to a disconnect between form and function. If the purpose of a greeting card is to convey thoughtfulness and a personal connection between two people, then these sentiments are most effectively expressed in a format that takes conscious effort, requiring the sender to take time out of their regular routine to acknowledge the addressee. The resulting gift card symbolises time, thought and energy, so transplanting it into a format which is instantaneous and can even be automated, erodes the meaning of that symbol.
Much like the greeting card or thank you note, important announcements should always be made in paper, to distinguish this kind of communication from the everyday flow of information we receive through our inbox. Printing an announcement gives it the appropriate gravity the event deserves, by sending out an announcement in email format, you run the risk of the information getting lost in a crowd of less important correspondence.
1Print specialises in printing all kinds of quality business stationary. To learn more about our range of products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 1300 327 471.