Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 3, Issue 10; October 2006: A Printing Time and Money Saver

How would you like to save both time and money using your personal printer, either at home or the one on your desk at work? There is a very simple tip that I recommend for you to try that can help you do just that -- save both time AND money. I have to give thanks to my web developer, Sharon, for her inadvertantly teaching me this tip in a recent meeting. We were working on a couple web site upgrades, and she printed a sample document, and in the process showed me this excellent tip. Being the "time management geek" that I am, I made her stop, go back, and show me how to use this simple print management tool.

Here's the tip: use the "Fast Draft" mode in your printer settings when printing documents for simple internal review. This mode will print your documents 2-3 times faster than "Normal" mode, and also uses significantly less toner. It will save you a ton of time and money, especially on longer multiple-page documents. And the print quality is JUST FINE for reviewing draft documents, making copies, or for simple internal distribution.

And if you've ever attended one of my programs on time or e-mail management, you know that I recommend you print out all e-mails that will take longer than 3-minutes to process or respond to, so that you can then sort those e-mails for prioritized processing according to urgency and/or importance. Fast Draft is the perfect mode for printing those e-mails, and once printed and sorted into your Priority file, you can then move those e-mails out of your inbox into the appropriate e-mail archival file folder in your e-mail account, thus helping to manage your e-mail inbox. No need to print the e-mail at high quality, since you simply need a readable version that can be later tossed or shredded upon completion.

Here's how to use the "Fast Draft" mode in a Windows environment. With any open document or web page, go to the "File" drop down menu and select "Print". This will bring up the Print Manager screen. Click on the "Preferences" button, and you will see a screen with several possible tabs to select to configure your print job. The first tab is "Paper/Quality", and you will see in the lower righthand corner of this screen "Print Quality". It usually defaults to "Normal", but instead, select "FastDraft", and then select "OK". Your document will now print in Fast Draft mode -- faster and with less toner.

Now, if you'd like to avoid having to do all of these steps every time, before hitting "OK", go up to the "Print Task Quick Sets" drop down menu, and select the "Draft text or text with color printing" option, then click the "Save" button. Then, whenever you have a draft print job, you can just select the "Print Quick Set", and your job will print in Fast Draft mode. I even created a new "Print Quick Set" that allows you to print in Fast Draft mode and also just in black and white -- that can help you save more on expensive color toner too.

I recommend you try this tip, and see how it works for your personal printers at both work and home. And, if working in a large office unit, you may want to share this tip with your team. It could save your entire group quite a bit of time and money.


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