What’s the point of introducing paperless systems if you’re not going to use them?

Earlier this year, the Norwegian postal system introduced a new digital post system called Digipost. The point is to cut down on paper by sending mail digitally. It’s like email, but hosted and run by the postal service to increase security and better bridge the gap between the people who want to send mail digitally and the user, i.e. have a system that isn’t prone to hacked/changed emails, typos etc.

Fast forward to today, I just picked up a package from the post office. It was supposed to be delivered, but as I live in an apartment building and live with headphones on my head 24/7 it takes me a good 5-10 minutes to notice the fire alarm, let alone the door bell (neither are loud – you easily sleep through both with no headphones on, so don’t worry about my hearing). The delivery man left a note so I could pick it up at the local post office, which I prefer anyways as that’s 150 meters away.

My point? The delivery man left a note. A physical note. On paper. A delivery man from the same company who introduced a service to get rid of unnecessary paper deliveries left me a paper note. Meanwhile, my Digipost inbox sits there unused. I haven’t gotten a single letter through it since I signed up. I get package slips fairly regularly – mostly for stuff that is sent straight to the post office and doesn’t go through a delivery man to begin with. All I ask is that they use their own system for sending me slips like that, even if it takes them some time and money to get systems for that up and running. I mean, if they can’t get behind their own systems, how do they expect anyone else to?

In the end I guess it all comes down to what I talked about before regarding the competence level of the people who get told to stop using dead trees and get with the times. I’ve been paper free for documents and such for a while now so I know with 100% certainty that it is indeed possible, but you have to know what you’re doing. Paper and pen doesn’t really have a learning curve, but at the same time it has very limited potential in the grand scheme of things. The only way to move past it is to jump into it and force people to learn. No one ever learned anything from staring at something and saying to themselves “I can’t do this”.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.