Printing documents enables me to read them away from my desk. For my job I print countless research papers to read them in an environment that fosters my creativity where I cannot be interrupted by daily routine. Another key reason for printing documents is to annotate them with a pen (highlight, add comments, sketch ideas, add questions).
My main problem with this approach (apart from not being "green") is that I have to keep all of these printed copies with my personal annotations until the topic is not any longer of importance. Some are well structured in binders but the majority remains cluttered piles of paper in a "dark" corner of my home office.
Everything has completely changed since I received the iPad about four weeks ago: The iPad has replaced my printer for all of the situations highlighted above. Instead of printing documents, I now carry the electronic copies with me on the iPad. The key enablers for this fundamental change in my print habits are the iPad Productivity Apps "GoodReader" and "iAnnotate":
With GoodReader you can read almost any kind of document format (PDF, TXT, MS Office, iWork) on the iPad. This is especially useful for email attachments. iAnnotate is the perfect solution when you want to annotate your PDF files and keep your revised copies in sync with your PC. Have a look at the YouTube video below for a tour of the key features. Now I find myself sitting in front of my PC with the iPad next to me holding the printed copy with my annotations (what would have formerly been my printed copy).
YouTube: iAnnotate for iPad
On the other hand, the iPad has created a high demand for a totally new way of printing: Instantly from your mobile device and application! There must really be a way to simply print a document or web page. Take that for granted. Moreover, I really want to be able to send granny's favorite pictures from my iPad picture library to my wireless photo printer to provide her with a high quality photo print.
This is a key area of improvement that Apple has not yet addressed. Let us hope that we can trust Steve Job's words who simply responded by saying "It will come".