Going Paperless or At Least Trying To

At work, I typically work at one of three sites. It always seems that I never have the right papers, notes, or notebook with me. What I need is always somewhere else.

I have thought about ‘going paperless’ in the past but never really put forth the effort to really try it. I recently replaced my wi-fi-only ‘old’ iPad with a wi-fi + 4G (Verizon) new iPad. Until now, my iPad was used almost exclusively for ‘non-work’ stuff so I figured now was the time to make a serious run at using it at work and avoiding paper whenever possible.

In terms of keeping a ‘to do’ list, I haven’t used paper for that since I got my first iPhone about four years ago. I am a dedicated user of Appigo‘s ToDo app. It is an extremely versatile iOS app that allows you to categorize your ‘to dos’ by purpose, priority, tags and context. You can have ‘stand alone’ tasks or projects. There is also a desktop version which allows you to sync across your desktop and devices but I haven’t felt the need to do that. Having my ‘to do’ list on my iPhone has worked very well for me.

My major use of paper entails preparing for or taking notes at meetings. For that, I am using Evernote‘s Evernote app. I have been using this for a while for keeping track of things at home so I figured that I would give it a whirl at work. I set up a ‘notebook’ for each of the projects that I am on as well as some ‘general use’ ones for non-project work. This week, I have been preparing for meetings, making notes and summarizing meetings using these notebooks. I have to say that it’s gone pretty well. It’s good to know that I have what I need in my iPad.

For those things that I would typically write reminders on ‘Post It’ Notes, I am using TapFactory‘s Sticky Notes app. It literally looks like Post-It Notes. I use these to keep track of miscellaneous small stuff such as Project or Request Numbers.

For things that I would usually just write a quick note for, I am using Evernote’s newly-acquired (as of this week) Penultimate app. It allows you to write quick notes with your finger. These notes can then be imported into Evernote and moved into the appropriate folder.

I will grant you that I am only three days into my little experiment so the ‘newness’ of it is definitely still there. But, so far, it’s going pretty well. I still get a few funny looks in meetings when I take out my iPad (or maybe it’s just my imagination) but at least I feel a little more organized.

I intend to write occasional updates as to how this is going.  I will provide some more in-depth details of the apps that I am using — what works well, what doesn’t, what forced me to try a different app — so stay tuned.

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