“Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom” -Leonardo da Vinci
“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution” – Igor Stravinsky
“Sometimes constraints actually create success. Not being able to swim made me run. And running taught me the discipline I needed as a writer” – Malcolm Gladwell
I bought a printer this summer. I bought it specifically to carry in the camper with us when we took our long national parks vacation. It was the smallest, lightest, simplest printer I could find that did what I needed – it printed in color or black and white on letter size paper, period. With it, I was able to run my reed business from the road, and it took up barely any space, and weighed almost nothing, and it was also white and cute. I loved it for the freedom it gave me – to mail reed shipments from anywhere – and for its adorable design factor.
I had a printer, of course, at home. My big business printer lived up on top of my filing cabinet, looming menacingly over my office. It could scan things on its huge glass plate, and it could feed a whole stack of documents through to copy and scan and print, and it could acknowledge our printing commands from anywhere in the house, from any device, and it had two paper trays for both labels and plain paper and always printed on the correct medium. It could print double-sided. It could print on smaller envelopes or photo paper as well. It was quite a nice printer, and I had been fond of it if not loving of it, and I did appreciate all of the smart things it did.
Shortly after we got home from our trip, my big business printer died.
But I did not immediately replace it. It was summer, and we are poor in the summer, and after all I had my adorable white printer ready for action.
My little white printer can live on my desk. Because it’s not networked I have to plug my computer physically into it to print, so there’s really no need to have it loaded full of labels and paper – I’m sitting right there so it’s easy to feed the sheet I need in as I print each page. I don’t mind the extra work because it’s so convenient having it right here next to me. I can’t scan onto it – but I can scan on my phone now! I can’t print effortlessly from my iPad or from elsewhere in the house – but why do I need that? It’s not such a crazy workaround to email something to myself if it’s truly necessary, and there are a surprising amount of things that are NOT necessary, and that I DON’T need to have on actual paper. Why should I?
It’s the dawning of a new technological age – one in which my printer actually can be MUCH dumber than all of my previous ones and I can make it work just as well in my life and also love it more!
Looking for a tiny printer with a ton of perfectly reasonable constraints? I recommend this one!
*This post contains affiliate links, which send a tiny kickback to me at no cost to you if you should order through them.