More on my 8-week paperless challenge

Friday, October 28th, 2005
I've always held that there's no such thing as the paperless office, but that there is the promise of a less-paper office. Well, I hope to prove one of these statements true.

Clients are watching and smiling

A client smiled yesterday, when I described this challenge. As a productivity coach, she's seen too many people get caught up in the tools only to reduce their productivity. I've had the same observation and experience. This challenge maybe no different. I explained that my objective was not necessarily to prove that it could be done, but to learn what was practical. I fully expect that there are areas in which I will become less productive by eliminating paper; at the same time I expect to discover areas where I can honestly say that the Tablet PC has made a significant improvement in my work.

When I advise clients who inquire about the productive benefits of using a Tablet PC along with applications such as OneNote or perhaps MindManager or some other tablet app, I want to be able to tell them (and show them) from experience what I've concluded. So for me, whatever the outcome, this will be a success in that I will know first hand, what works.

Tracy Hooten joins the 8-week paperless challenge

Tracy Hooten, of Student Tablet PC blog fame, reports that she';s going to join me in my 8-week paperless challenge. (Trace and I actually spoke about this a few weeks ago, when she was having trouble getting her Toshiba Tablet back from repair.) I look forward to exchanging notes (digitally, of course) about our experience.

I'm delighted that Tracy will be joining in this challenge. Perhaps others will do, too. (If you do, please post a comment)

My next action

My next action is to MindMap (on the Tablet, of course) the things that I think I will need to do or to learn to make this experiment as successful as possible. I'll also create a list of resources that I've found that I want to learn from.

UPDATE: I see that James Kendrick, has already blogged a note of encouragement with some recommendations for efficient use of the Tablet PC. Thanks James!

Discussion/Comments (5):

More on my 8-week paperless challenge

I don't have a Tablet (yet) but I think you have undertaken a great challenge and I hope that I be able to port most of the productivity gains you find over to my desktop in the interim.

A lot of posts that I read about MindManager (and other software for that matter) include screenshots but rarely do they also include the actual output in the software's native format or in other formats which would be useable by the readers of the posts. When you get the mind map done I think it would be beneficial to post it in formats that your readers would be able to utilize it best. That would include the native .mmap format as well as the one that can be viewed in the MindManager Viewer. I would also like to see what it looks like when exported to the Visio format since I do have Visio but I don’t have MindManager yet).

Posted at 10/29/2005 8:40:57 by Robert Banghart

More on my 8-week paperless challenge

The MMAP format is what you natively view in the MM Viewer. It would be great for Eric to post the map directly in the blog so everyone can view it even without MindManager.

Posted at 10/29/2005 9:26:19 by James Kendrick

More on my 8-week paperless challenge

Thanks Eric! I think one of the biggest challenges you will face is dealing with documents on paper that you already have. There is no way around scanning them all in if you have any question whether you will need them or not during your challenge. I think that step is the one that prevents more people from trying the paperless route.

Posted at 10/30/2005 16:29:32 by James Kendrick

More on my 8-week paperless challenge

Greetings Eric. I've listened to a few of your podcasts in the past and dropped by your website a few times while I was researching tablets.

I've been "paperless" since January 2nd at the start of the quarter at Western Washington University. The only paper I've used so far is one sheet for my name to hang over our desk for the teacher to call on us, two pages for a couple of pop quizzes, and one for a sample forecast sheet in my Operations Management class.

Things have been quite smooth for me. The only problems I've encountered, as I stated in my blog, was that one teacher I have has a problem with my books being on my tablet. This was in a MIS class, on quiz day. I loaded up my PDF and he stopped me dead in my tracks claiming "electronic devices" were not allowed. I'm sitting at a desktop wired to the internet, with full book and full notes ok to use on the test. What more could I put on a tablet that I couldn't find on the desktop or have written in my notes??

This gentleman is a very nice guy and just behind the curve by 10 years or so. I spoke to the main professor, and he has no problem with my tablet as long as I turn off the wireless during the test. That was a life saver!

If there's anything that the Great NorthWet can do for you on your quest, please feel free to drop me a note. I owe Tracy for the help she's given me with information on OCR and PDFs and OpticBook scanners and and and...

This is a great community we have so far with our Tablet PCs and good amounts of resources compared to how many people actually own a Tablet PC.

Posted at 02/01/2006 20:18:57 by Bhaltair

More on my 8-week paperless challenge

Eric - When you have a chance, you find want to give our free web service a spin, It addresses one key part of the paperless office - it automates the process of getting documents signed and makes the process entirely digital -- even if the signor signs by fax. We also offer a free instant e-approval/e-signature option as well.

Posted at 05/21/2006 9:43:17 by Jason Lemkin

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