fame and shame · Homeschool

Day 219: Time-saving Tech

I’m not sure if I should be happy or unhappy about my new printer. On the one hand, it saves me so much time and frustration! On the other hand, I get less exercise than I did with my old printer. I think I’m still inclined to view Freddie as a positive addition to our household, though.

Oh, excuse me. I forgot all about introductions. Everyone, meet Freddie, my new printer. Last name is Mercury, because he’s so fast (like quicksilver, get it?)

Aaaand he’s sticking his tongue out at you. Try not to take it personally.

As I was about to tell you, using my old printer to print a double-sided document was a rather involved process prone to user error (read: wasted ink and paper.) I had to do the following:

  1. Click “print” and select “odd pages only.”
  2. Run downstairs to the printer to gather the one-sided pages, put them into a neat pile, and load them into the paper tray (and woe betide you if you load them the wrong way around.)
  3. Go upstairs and click “print even pages only.”
  4. Go back downstairs and watch for any errors.
  5. See that the printer seems to have grabbed two pages at once. Now the double-sidedness is all messed up.
  6. Frantically tap the “cancel” button on the printer in a bid to save as many error-free pages as possible.
  7. Start again from step 1.
  8. Cry or scream. Your choice.

Here’s the same task when using Freddie:

  1. Click “print” and select “double sided.”
  2. Go downstairs to collect my perfectly printed document, already in the correct order and ready to be hole-punched and put into the binder.

See how much better that is?

Also exciting is that Freddie has two paper trays, which means that I no longer have to take out regular paper to put in cardstock when I’m printing Montessori materials for E. That used to necessitate a run downstairs to the printer before hitting “print”—a workout I no longer have to do. The really big win here is that I won’t end up forgetting to switch back to regular paper before printing a multi-page document that winds up being printed on cardstock, too thick to staple together. As long as I select “alternate tray” before clicking “print,” my materials come out on cardstock. Anybody printing even a moment after me will still have their document printed on regular paper.

Look at me, all productive and stuff! It’s all because of those earbuds.

Freddie is not the only tech that has improved my productivity, though. My new earbuds have memory foam earpieces, kind of like those foam earplugs you can buy in bulk. With my earbuds in and some instrumental music playing through them, I can ignore everyone around me and actually focus on my work. This morning I listened to classical music for an hour while I submitted health insurance claims, paid bills, and made lists for tomorrow’s PD day. That would not have happened if my brain had needed to filter out all the ambient sounds my family makes.

What am I doing with the new-found leisure time my tech has afforded me? Why, curling up with another device, of course. I finally bit the bullet and bought another Kobo so that I can read on it, too. Now I just need one of those bath caddy trays and I’ll be able to lounge in the tub with my waterproof e-book, sip some tea, and, for one blissful hour, ignore my children.

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