Paperless office – the reality – Part IV

It has been a month or so now since I abandoned paper and I think I will be able to make it work for my business.

In an earlier post I listed categories of paper that I couldn’t remove from my life, and I’ve added a couple of new categories since then, but in the main I am surviving without paper.

The additional categories of paper are the bundles supplied to me by clients, or printed off by me specifically to study at meetings, which I’m going to need for a few weeks while a project works itself to a conclusion.  I felt there was no point in scanning and shredding just to print it off again a few days later.  When you need to refer to multiple sets of data recorded in separate documents, particularly spreadsheets, it just isn’t practicable to be switching between PDF images on the iPad.  It is fine for longer term storage and occasional access to extract one or two pieces of information, but for multiple meetings with complex data I can’t do without paper.

The Note Taker HD app on my iPad has proved an adequate substitute for my paper notebooks.  I have now attended multiple meetings taking notes in this way.  Once I got over the self-conscious embarrassment of working on the iPad, I have found it a great way of taking notes.  I simply explained to clients about my paperless experiment, and they were then fascinated with the technology and how I had overcome the lawyers’ natural instinct to reach for the ‘counsels’ notepad’ before every meeting.

The first stylus arrived but it had a very soft rubber ‘nib’ and I just couldn’t get on with it at all.  I have kept it as a spare in my briefcase, but I went to Maplin and bought their offering which is a neat, small, metal stylus that fits nicely in my hand.  It is a little like a propelling pencil, but when you twist the shaft instead of lead you get longer bristles or hairs coming out of the tube.  It glides nicely over the iPad screen and produces reasonably neat handwriting if I take my time.  Ideally, I think I would like something with a little fatter shaft so I’ll keep looking.

I’ve cancelled my O2 laptop dongle contract and shifted to a data package for my iPad, so that I can now really travel light.

The weather hasn’t been fit enough to break out the chiminea so I’ve still got the yard of confidential paper to get rid of, but I think that’s a small price to pay for this breakthrough.

It worked for me…I still haven’t converted the wife to my point of view, however.  That is for another day…