Using my printer to keep ahead of the game with work and family life

I’m finding that life is becoming more of a juggling act than ever before, especially now the boys are getting older and have lots on at school and in their social lives. That of course, is part of having kids but it’s all the other parts of life admin that are starting to catch me out too.

Working from home can really have its advantages but I’ve realised that I also need to be fairly organised on the home and work front, for things to tick along smoothly.

Despite being a blogger and, you might assume, living therefore mostly online, I’m also essentially a small business which means I have my fair share of offline admin ‘headaches’ to navigate too. Printing is definitely one of them.

Whether it’s invoices and contracts or address labels and design work – like the downloadable designs I feature on the blog – printing is still a practical necessity for me.

The boys – fully computer literate and digitally savvy – also produce their own regular printing requirements. Both need to print out work for school projects and Elliot, a budding little author, has even taken to typing up stories that he has written that he loves nothing more than to print them off. You can’t underestimate the pride and positive self-esteem that children can derive from seeing their creative work in print. It’s a feeling lots of bloggers recognise too and perhaps why we see all those ‘blog to book deal’ headlines – sometimes it’s just nice to see what you’ve done in print.

Anyway, creative work or practical print outs, before I know it, the ink is running low. Or, worse still, I run out. We’ve all had those ‘ink may have run out’ error messages – usually when it’s something really important and really pressing that you’re mid way through printing, right? And, let’s face it, no one really wants to go ‘ink shopping’ now do they?

This is where a really nifty service offered by Epson, called ReadyInk comes in handy. I was asked to ‘road test’ it and I think it’s a pretty good concept.

It’s not trapping you into a subscription service and you only ever pay for the ink you actually use – bingo!

Think of it as a ‘pay as you go’ ink – and the tech bit is that it cleverly detects when you’re running low and asks you if you want to order more – before you run out.

This would have been an absolute lifesaver back in the day when I was at Uni. I never used to have ink – or a functioning printer for that matter – and it was pretty stressful when I often left printing out an essay until the afternoon of submission!

Happily, there’s no reason to get caught out any more. It’s really simple to register too. You just need your printer serial number along with your address and payment details to get set up and I found it super easy.

The beauty of not getting tied into any contracts month after month, where you might be sent ink that you don’t even need is a breakthrough for me because there’ll be months we race through ink and then others – like the summer holidays – where we just don’t need it as much. I like that ReadyInk removes the hassle of having to remember, protects you from shelling out more money than you need to and adapts to your real needs.

As a busy working mum, I can appreciate a smart fix to a mundane problem! And, having firmly crossed ink buying off my ever expanding ‘to do’ list, this should be my first and final post on the matter.

Next up, I’ll be attacking my digital photo library. After years of storing snaps digitally and not doing anything with them, I’m finally starting to print out our favourites to create some gallery walls around our home. We’ve just returned from a week in the Dominican Republic so we have some gorgeous photos I want to get printed and displayed to enjoy. I might even regularly update our little gallery – safe in the knowledge I won’t need to remember to buy more ink and be in trouble when it’s homework printing time!

Nb. In collaboration with Epson.