It has occurred to me recently that I really don’t print that much anymore. I mean almost never. I don’t print documents to read. I rarely print envelopes to mail. Heck, I rarely snail mail anything. I don’t print checks unless I have to. I hate checks! I don’t print spreadsheets. I don’t print out manuals. The most frequent thing I printed until recently, were PDF files from for learning Chinese. Printing them out served two purposes : 1) to read the lesson material and vocabulary and 2) to have something to write on with my Chinese tutor. However, now with my iPad, I don’t even need to do that. I can easily read the PDF file on the iPad and bring a single sheet of paper for my Chinese tutor to write on.

Thinking about work at Sliced Simple, we were able to avoid buying a printer and scanner for almost two whole months at the beginning of the company in the fall of 2009. However, during the incorporation process we were invariably told by our lawyers that we had to print out and sign things to follow the most conservative and best practices for a new company. So we bought a multifunction printer / scanner and a single ream of paper. It is now summer of 2010 and we are still on the same ream of paper. Without much effort, we have avoided doing a lot of printing. For run of the mill contracts like NDAs and consulting agreements, we just use, a very simple electronic signature service that is more than good enough for everyday contracts.

I have to be a bit weird though. As I mentioned, I recently got an iPad and now really have very little use for printing. But, when I read the reviews of the iPad, I seem to constantly come across some reviewer pointing out how there is no native printing capability. People write into Walt Mossberg’s column just to ask about printing. I really don’t get it. Why would you buy an iPad and then want to print from it? You can read Word files and PDF files right on the iPad and if someone else needs a copy, e-mail it to them! I think if you look at the iPad and the first thing you say is “Now how do I print from this thing”, you probably should not be buying an iPad.

So I want to know, do you still print? What do you print? Why do you print? Do you think you will ever stop printing?