Everyone has been talking about going paperless in the workplace. I prefer to say that I’ve gone penless (it’s the new black!). Going penless requires some commitment – you can’t really do it half hearted. If you are writing some things on paper and storing some things electronically, then not only are you probably less efficient but it is likely to be chaos. Guaranteed whatever you are after is in ‘your other notebook’ (although may be handy for ‘my dog ate my homework’ moments).
In the office I use my iPad in meetings or when I am away from my desk for taking notes, reading email, checking my calendar, reading my RSS, updating To Do lists and drawing diagrams or illustrations.
My most used iPad app (besides Mail, Calendar and Twitter) is Evernote.
I luuuuuurve Evernote because:
- It syncs across all platforms (I also have it on my desktop and iPhone) so I can access the most up to date notes from where ever I am
- It is searchable
- It has tags
- It has OCR so you can search for text in an image (ever taken a photo of a whiteboard or flipchart? Yup.)
- It stores notes, photos, audio clips, web urls and webpages – and can combine all of these things together in one note
- You can share notebooks (although I haven’t used this function).
- There are plenty of addons which can make Evernote better – here are ten of them.
Since going penless, I’ve made a few changes and observed some things:
- If someone hands me a piece of paper in a meeting, I either ask for a digital copy (if it is something I need to keep), take a photo of it myself & upload to Evernote for OCR and storage, or file it in the shredder on the way back to my desk.
- I have a charger at my desk in case my iPad battery runs out (but it never has). If Evernote goes bust or loses all my data it is probably no different to me misplacing that leather notebook, or having my handbag stolen with it inside.
- It is infinitely more useful than a notebook where typically I either never referred to the notes I had dutifully taken, or spent ages flicking back through pages trying to find the notes I had dutifully taken based on the date of the meeting. Now a quick search will pull up the notes, and I can add to them easily so all the notes relating to that subject are in one place.
- If I leave my iPad at home, I can just use my desktop or phone to access my notes
- My desk is a LOT tidier
What do you use to improve your productivity? I’d love to hear in the comments about your favourite apps or systems you use to manage your life.