Homes with no printer - minimalism

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PoppyA
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Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by PoppyA »

How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
AlohaJoe
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by AlohaJoe »

The vast majority of people work at jobs with printers.

There are also stores that print for you.

I print something maybe once every three years.

Why do I need a printer for "record keeping"?
badger42
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by badger42 »

We have a printer, but it has no use for what you describe. It's mostly for schoolwork, or things like signs or tickets (where you might want a paper ticket, not just show it on your phone), or similar.

Business transactions happen online. Electronic signing (eg DocuSign) has been a thing for many years.

Record keeping happens online, with local and cloud backups.

The printer does get used occasionally for printing forms for backwards government agencies that can't take things online, but it's infrequent enough that if that was all it was for, I could print that at the local FedEx Office or similar. (Having sad that, I peronsally wouldn't go printer-less, because a basic B&W laser is dirt cheap and means you have it when you need it, but I understand the appeal)
student
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by student »

I have a printer but I seldom use it. Most stuff I just print to pdf files.
tibbitts
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by tibbitts »

AlohaJoe wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:22 am The vast majority of people work at jobs with printers.
Well, you're saying that from a Boglehead white-collar-professional perspective. Yes, everybody works at a business with a printer, but not everybody is free to print personal documents on their employer's printer.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by stoptothink »

AlohaJoe wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:22 am The vast majority of people work at jobs with printers.

There are also stores that print for you.

I print something maybe once every three years.

Why do I need a printer for "record keeping"?
I've never owned a printer in my adult life. For the maybe handful of times a year I need to print something out, I use my office.
Colorado13
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Colorado13 »

I go to the public library a couple of times a year to print documents for 10 cents a page. I can load documents from my home computer to the library printer, log in at the library and retrieve my document. The library is a short walk from my house, so this is typically convenient.

It was inconvenient however, when I was executor for a family member's estate, due to the large amount of paperwork required to settle the estate.
dukeblue219
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by dukeblue219 »

If you desire to keep paper copies of records or business transactions then you probably desire a printer at home. Most people don't have that, receive payment from a W2 job, and hae few or no records to keep.

Remember it's not just printers that "young people" are ditching. I work in engineering and many of the under 40 crowd no longer own their own computer at all or have an ancient laptop from ten years ago. They're doing everything via phone and tablet now.

The era of the family desktop computer attached to a printer is long gone, honestly. I have a wifi printer and it's great for printing projects for the kids to color or things my wife needs for work (teacher) but we don't need it for basic day to day functioning anymore.
Colorado13
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Colorado13 »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:25 am
AlohaJoe wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:22 am The vast majority of people work at jobs with printers.
Well, you're saying that from a Boglehead white-collar-professional perspective. Yes, everybody works at a business with a printer, but not everybody is free to print personal documents on their employer's printer.

+1

My employer does not allow us to print personal documents at work.
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novolog
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by novolog »

we need a printer when we need to sign something sent to us via email that isn't available via docusign (rare). if this happens we just print it out next time one of us is in the office.

we just bought a house and didn't need a printer. everything was done electronically until closing day when we went to the lawyer's office to sign.

i struggle to think of what else i would need a printer for.
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stan1
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by stan1 »

Very easy to email a document to a friend or relative who has a printer.
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Watty
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Watty »

Many libraries also have printers.

One problem with printing things someplace else is that if you are printing something sensitive and the printer is down the hall then other people may see or accidently take it before you can get it off the printer.

One thing that I always print out on paper is copies of my tax return to file away along with the paper 1099s and W2s. Even if I have a PDF copy I do not trust that I will be able to find it ten years in the future after I have replaced my computer several times. I also know that my wife or whoever is handling my finances will be able to find these if something happens to me.

I also print out the Christmas letter each year.
badger42 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:23 am .... I personally wouldn't go printer-less, because a basic B&W laser is dirt cheap and means you have it when you need it, but I understand the appeal
+1

and with a laser printer the ink will not dry out.

I do not know if it is just me but often I will type something on the computer and carefully proofread it and it looks OK. Oddly though(or maybe it is just me that is odd) once it is printed on paper and I read it on paper some errors will seem to be obvious. To me there is just something different about reading it on paper.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

It wasn't until I ditched the printer that I realized how rarely I truly needed it. Record keeping: I do much less of it now. I used to cling to so many physical papers that I didn't need! Most of the record-keeping I still do is now digital. Tax documents, bank records and receipts are on my computer and in the cloud. Product manuals and medical info are online. Most important business transactions can be accessed without a physical record.

Yes there are rare instances where I wished I had that physical document but it's a small price to pay for simplifying.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (record keeping).
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Sandtrap »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
We "manage" with this minimal setup that fits "our needs" (only us).

1. Ancient HP 1020 office printer from our old business before retirement. Still runs great. Laser cartridge goes forever.
2. Canon: various photo printers
3. Various flat bed scanners
4. Various laser printers

Record keeping: Excel, Turbo Tax, etc. Hardcopies to paper and "real physical files" for backup.
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twh
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by twh »

I couldn't live without a home printer. And, my 1999 HP Laserjet 2100 is still going strong.
Marseille07
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Marseille07 »

No printer but I have a scanner and I scan as much as I can.

If I need to print something, I just hit a FedEx office, they print like 10c/page.
twh
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by twh »

For a scanner, I highly recommend the smartphone App "Scannable" from Evernote. Does a fantastic job. Scans to jpeg or pdf, B&W or color. Can't say enough good things about this App.
SnowBog
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by SnowBog »

student wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:24 am I have a printer but I seldom use it. Most stuff I just print to pdf files.
Same here.

Anything I want to keep, I keep digitally (in my OneDrive account, or my OneDrive Vault depending on sensitivity and need to share with spouse/family). This is easier to access, available anywhere I need it, and makes things searchable in a way paper will never be.

Any Windows computer has a "print to PDF" printer option. (I'd think Macs/etc. would or could as well.)

About the only think I print to paper anymore is my state tax returns, as I don't want to pay extra to file them electronically. But if my printer died, I'm not sure I'll replace it (at that point it would be cheaper to efile).
SnowBog
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by SnowBog »

twh wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:15 pm For a scanner, I highly recommend the smartphone App "Scannable" from Evernote. Does a fantastic job. Scans to jpeg or pdf, B&W or color. Can't say enough good things about this App.
I've used Microsoft Office Lens for same.

Does Scannable help deskew (straighten) captures?

I use that all the time in Office Lens... (especially when we were in person and is want to capture something off a whiteboard).
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by ScubaHogg »

I'd say 90-95% of the things I do have to print are for some government agency some way or another. I don't see them changing so I doubt I'll be able to ditch it anytime soon. Most of the printing we do is for my wife's elderly patients. If not for those two things I would happily get rid of this thing.

I just scan everything into Dropbox (they have their own scanner for their app). Give it a name that later when you've forgotten the name, you are likely to guess something close ("Physical receipt_March 2021", etc.). Then just search for what you need.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by SuzBanyan »

I have a pretty old B&W laser printer but when my ink jet died, we didn’t replace it. I like the convenience of having a printer even if I don’t use it often. But there are times when I want more than 2 screens and a printed copy is helpful as the 3rd screen.

I only miss my ink jet when I think about printing a quilt label on fabric. That is not something you can really do on someone else’s printer, even though I have done it many times on my own.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Faith20879 »

Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:27 am I go to the public library a couple of times a year to print documents for 10 cents a page.
This.

Our county library offers free scan, prints c15/pg, and fax $1.90/pg. Very good quality - much better than our home equipments.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Colorado13 »

Watty wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:39 am Many libraries also have printers.

One problem with printing things someplace else is that if you are printing something sensitive and the printer is down the hall then other people may see or accidently take it before you can get it off the printer.

One thing that I always print out on paper is copies of my tax return to file away along with the paper 1099s and W2s. Even if I have a PDF copy I do not trust that I will be able to find it ten years in the future after I have replaced my computer several times. I also know that my wife or whoever is handling my finances will be able to find these if something happens to me.

I also print out the Christmas letter each year.
badger42 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:23 am .... I personally wouldn't go printer-less, because a basic B&W laser is dirt cheap and means you have it when you need it, but I understand the appeal
+1

and with a laser printer the ink will not dry out.

I do not know if it is just me but often I will type something on the computer and carefully proofread it and it looks OK. Oddly though(or maybe it is just me that is odd) once it is printed on paper and I read it on paper some errors will seem to be obvious. To me there is just something different about reading it on paper.

The library requires users to log in before obtaining anything from the printer. So while I understand your concern about someone else taking sensitive material off the printer, this is not an issue at the library. YMMV.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Jeepergeo »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
Save up your print jobs on a Thumb drive. The next time you stay at a hotel, use the business center or public PC and printer. Make sure to bring your own paper, don't forget to take your thumb drive when you leave, take all your copies, and don't save anything to the PC. Close the browser before you leave.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Silverado »

I have to print twice a year. Auto insurance cards every six months (can’t wait for that to be digital) Other than that, I have no other need. Library would be the go to solution now that I am fully remote.

Old combo printer is in the basement and has been used as a scanner for handwritten homework when I was finishing up some grad courses last year. Can’t remember last time we had a printer cartridge in it.

Love the idea of using hotel business center! We travel enough that that would work.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by 123 »

I rarely print to paper. Most on-line orders and such provide an instant email confirmation. If I want a record of something most print functions provide a "Print to PDF" function.

The main occasions I print to paper are admission tickets (as backup) and on-line recipe use in the kitchen. I find using a recipe from a phone cumbersome.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by hudson »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
I've pretty much done away with saving paper stuff. I just scan it or take a pic with my phone.
I still want a color printer. I never thought about going without; that's an interesting concept.
twh
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by twh »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
This is how young people get by..."[phone rings]...dad, I just emailed you something...please print it for me" :happy
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by nisiprius »

Our local public library has wifi-enabled printers to which you can print from your own laptop or tablet--or smartphone, I guess. They charge 20¢ per page, I don't know how you pay.

The local copy shops can print things from thumb drives.

Of course, they also have computers for use by patrons, so--if it's not too sensitive--if you can bring it up on their computer, you can print it from there.

Quite a lot of businesses are prepared to accept .pdf or .doc file attachments to emails--when they don't, it's usually for security reasons.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
I have a color laser jet printer - because I'm old school. I don't print much but when I do I want my printer to work and do it's job. :)

That said, the only "record" keeping stuff I print is usually associated with "doing my taxes" and occurs sometime in Feb/March each year.

Other things I print out:
  • In Feb/March - I print out one new Utility bill from each of the utilities and put it in the new years paper file folder. The utility bills have my account number and all sorts of info for how to contact the utility (phone numbers, etc) this is useful when the power is out or the internet is out or the utilities website is done and I need info.

    I also print one statement from each of my many credit cards each year - for the info that's on the statement. I MIGHT print out a statement that has a charge on it related to my rental properties so I remember it and have proof at tax time. I don't do this often.

    Recipes to put in my Cook Book Binder.
    Pattern instructions (crochet or knit or something else)
    The yearly Permit for the Family Picnic at the local forest preserve (I need the hardcopy the day of the event).
    Any e-tickets I get for events that are scheduled more than a month into the future.
    Any e-gift cards I do NOT intend to use within a few days of receiving them.

The majority of things I use to print - I print as a .pdf and then save it to the appropriate folder. I usually delete the older things I've saved this way - as they have become useless.

I still get "paper" invoices/statements from my Property Manager and I save those and file those with my tax returns.



Most of my friends and family survive without a printer by asking me to print (or scan) stuff for them - they email the stuff they want printed or bring it on a thumb drive or they have paper and we make scans/copies. I don't mind doing this. I paid a lot of money for my color laser jet printer - and doing favors for family/friends helps me justify why I have the silly thing (beyond the fact that I bought it because I wanted a printer that always worked - even if it had been turned off for 3 months. priceless. )
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by neilpilot »

Jeepergeo wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:56 pm
PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
Save up your print jobs on a Thumb drive. The next time you stay at a hotel, use the business center or public PC and printer. Make sure to bring your own paper, don't forget to take your thumb drive when you leave, take all your copies, and don't save anything to the PC. Close the browser before you leave.
Hay, since we're Bogelheads we don't even have to wait for a hotel stay. Just go over to the local hotel to print. If you do it early enough, you can also grab a free breakfast.

BTW I do have a printer at home, so if I follow my own advice it's only for the free breakfast.
Last edited by neilpilot on Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by tibbitts »

twh wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:07 pm I couldn't live without a home printer. And, my 1999 HP Laserjet 2100 is still going strong.
My early-90s LaserJet4m didn't have the reliability I'd hoped for, especially given the price tag and what a relatively easy life it had with my less-than-business-grade usage. It was okay but I had to buy used parts off ebay to repair it a couple of times, and used parts are always suspect and potentially a hassle. I replaced it with a theoretically less durable 2055 model, which has been okay so far. You still see people recommending buying a used LaserJet 4 for a home printer (probably a Boglehead kind of thing to do), but I think that's a horrible idea.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by cjcerny »

I don’t own a printer. Once a year or so, I have to print something out. Costs me 5 cents at my local library.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Brianmcg321 »

My wife and I haven’t owned a printer since we got married. 17 years. The few times we needed something printed we just did it at work. Recently we were talking about me retiring and she said I can’t retire unless we get a printer because “How will we print stuff?” Lol.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage? I know younger people get by without them. Your insight into record keeping, business transactions interest me…
Well, a DD comes over and uses Mine!

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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Dottie57 »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:25 am
AlohaJoe wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:22 am The vast majority of people work at jobs with printers.
Well, you're saying that from a Boglehead white-collar-professional perspective. Yes, everybody works at a business with a printer, but not everybody is free to print personal documents on their employer's printer.
My last employer had all printers locked down. When I printed it would wait in a queue until I went to the printer and entered my employee I’d to release it. The name of the file , date, time and employee was tracked . It was creepy.

I do print out information from the web I want to keep since Links change , info disappears etc on the web.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by squirm »

My printer causes more frustration than it's worth. The only reason why i print is if i need to sign since stupid document.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by investnoob »

I don't have a printer.

However, I don't have a lot of records to keep. But anything I do want to keep is usually already in an electronic format. And if I want to store it somewhere, I store in my gmail account by emailing it to myself.

I haven't bothered with cloud storage yet. Maybe I should, but I have found it easy to do it this way.

If I have records that come in paper via the mail, and if I want to keep them, I store them in a binder. Once every few years, I go through the binder and chuck what I no longer need. I am 43, and have two binders of papers/records.
Last edited by investnoob on Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by runninginvestor »

Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:27 am I go to the public library a couple of times a year to print documents for 10 cents a page. I can load documents from my home computer to the library printer, log in at the library and retrieve my document. The library is a short walk from my house, so this is typically convenient.

It was inconvenient however, when I was executor for a family member's estate, due to the large amount of paperwork required to settle the estate.
We use the library as well. For a lot of things. But getting rid of the printer was a bonus.

I do have a nice Fujitsu scanner that I use to scan/save/send.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by neilpilot »

runninginvestor wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:07 pm
Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:27 am I go to the public library a couple of times a year to print documents for 10 cents a page. I can load documents from my home computer to the library printer, log in at the library and retrieve my document. The library is a short walk from my house, so this is typically convenient.

It was inconvenient however, when I was executor for a family member's estate, due to the large amount of paperwork required to settle the estate.
We use the library as well. For a lot of things. But getting rid of the printer was a bonus.

I do have a nice Fujitsu scanner that I use to scan/save/send.
Actually, my Brother combination scanner/printer take up about the same space as a scanner. I find that I use each function at about the same frequency.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by willthrill81 »

We have a printer and use it on occasion. I just used it yesterday to print a return UPS slip for Amazon.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by pizzy »

PoppyA wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am How do you manage?
Buy a cheap printer.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by runninginvestor »

neilpilot wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:12 pm
runninginvestor wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:07 pm
Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:27 am I go to the public library a couple of times a year to print documents for 10 cents a page. I can load documents from my home computer to the library printer, log in at the library and retrieve my document. The library is a short walk from my house, so this is typically convenient.

It was inconvenient however, when I was executor for a family member's estate, due to the large amount of paperwork required to settle the estate.
We use the library as well. For a lot of things. But getting rid of the printer was a bonus.

I do have a nice Fujitsu scanner that I use to scan/save/send.
Actually, my Brother combination scanner/printer take up about the same space as a scanner. I find that I use each function at about the same frequency.
We had a similar printer scanner setup. But we didn't print enough to the point that every time we wanted to print the ink head dried out :annoyed
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by walkabout »

We have a Brother wireless laser printer.

Laser because we print so infrequently that our old inkjet was virtually guaranteed to be dried up when we needed it.

Wireless because (at least in the case of this printer) means you don’t even need to own a computer. Smartphone/tablet is sufficient to configure and print.

For everything we’ve had to scan (eg receipt for vision insurance reimbursement after COBRA snafu), either a photo or phone-generated pdf was sufficient.

We’ve both been retired since August. Prior to that we had worked remotely since 3/16/2020. During that time we had maybe 6-8 things to print. Some work-related, some were forms or event tickets (might have worked with smart phone, I can’t remember). Personally, I would rather have the ability to print at home rather than going to the library or Staples.
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Ramjet »

Documents and sensitive information are encrypted on the cloud. This eliminates 95% of my need to print anything. The remaining 5% I use my work's computer and if that wasn't available I would go to the library
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by dukeblue219 »

Admittedly I forgot that we use ours a lot to print shipping labels. That's inconvenient to replace... I wouldn't want to drive to the post office just to print a label when I could do that at home and have the carrier pick it up.
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eye.surgeon
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by eye.surgeon »

I use our home printer enough that I wouldn't consider not having it, for occasional printing, faxing , and photocopying things.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett
brcarls
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by brcarls »

I keep all of my records and do all of my business electronically, so I get the people who say they don't need a printer for that.....

But you printerless folks must get lost all of the time without a printer to print out your mapquest directions! 8-)
Dottie57
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Re: Homes with no printer - minimalism

Post by Dottie57 »

brcarls wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:38 pm I keep all of my records and do all of my business electronically, so I get the people who say they don't need a printer for that.....

But you printerless folks must get lost all of the time without a printer to print out your mapquest directions! 8-)
Have you tried mapquest lately? It has changed a bit.


I do use apple maps which is quite good - helped me when I got lost in Wisconsin.
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