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A college student’s guide to going paperless this semester

Paper is so 2016.


Amanda Booth


Published Jan 5, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 6:34 am CDT

Whether you’re doing it for environmental reasons or because the thought of lugging around textbooks and notebooks makes you want to call your chiropractor, going paperless in school has never been easier. 

Plus, these digital upgrades can help you live a more efficient life as well. For example, let’s say you just got out of your afternoon class, which right next to the library. Odds are that when you’re going paperless, you have all that you need to study (books, notes, etc.) with you at all times, and you can just jump into being productive. 

Are you fully convinced that paper is lame yet? Check out these ways to consolidate your life, and save a few trees in the process. 

1) Invest in a tablet.


Tablets are great for reading, taking notes, and annotating – all of the things people claim are a reason to keep books and notebooks around. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is especially good for this, and is currently going for $430 on Amazon. If you want to spring for the Surface Pro 4, it starts at $709. 

2) Buy a stylus.


A stylus is essential for visual learners who need to draw out diagrams, or people who prefer writing notes over typing them. It also allows you to mark up books like you would in a traditional textbook. The Dimples Excel stylus is great for if you prefer a stylus with precision, and costs about $15.  

3) Download your textbooks.


Generally speaking, eBooks tend to be cheaper than hardcover textbooks, so along with saving space, time, and trees, you can save a little money too. Chegg is a great place to start when looking for downloadable textbooks, and Kindle also has a selection of textbooks as well as novels (Note: You don’t need a Kindle to use their eBooks. All you need to do is to download the app!). 


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*First Published: Jan 5, 2017, 9:07 am CST