The Paperless Office
In this post on the paperless office I am going to talk about the gadgets I have tried and now use to help manage my business.
I recently decided to go completely paperless with my office. I was one of those people that took loads of notes which ended up piling up on my desk and causing massive clutter.
I would then go through a decluttering phase where I would type out the notes I needed to keep in OneNote, and then toss out the rest.
I had been experimenting with quite a few different tools including electronic devices to see what suited me best. I found that I prefer to take notes with a pen as this improves my retention rate so have tested gadgets that have a pen for writing either on the screen or on paper.
Following is a breakdown of the different gadgets that I have tried and what I ended up using:
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
I originally purchased the Surface Pro so that I would have the benefit of having a full computer that was easy to carry around. The Surface Pro certainly has lived up to its expectations as a portable computer that enables me to work on the go. I have however turned to using it mostly at home as my main computer and rarely take it out with me. It is powerful enough for me to complete all the work in running my business.
Where it falls down for me is that the pen is not as easy to use. I use OneNote and Evernote for all my note taking and sometimes the pen stops working and I have to troubleshoot to get it going again. I also find that when using the pen if I lean on the screen the wrong way, I end up opening something else up and this is really annoying. I therefore rarely use the pen at all.
2. Bamboo Spark
I purchased the Bamboo Spark as I found that I like to write down my notes as it increases my retention rate. I also found that when I was at conferences it was awkward having my Surface Pro on my lap and I would go from typing to writing with the pen. I just couldn’t find a consistent way of taking notes that worked for me.
With the Bamboo Spark you write on the notepad and then sync each page to your iPad. You then use the Bamboo Spark App to send this to a notebook in Evernote or via email.
I used this for some time, but then found the syncing to the Bamboo App and then to Evernote quite cumbersome. You also have to make sure you sync each page as you go. This worked well for a while but since then there are better solutions with the release of the Apple Ipad Pro.
3. iPad Pro 12 Inch
I recently purchased the 12″ Apple iPad Pro. I now use this to pretty much manage everything to run my business. All the applications I use including the Creative Cloud Suite, WordPress, Evernote, OneNote and all the social media channels are available on the one device.
The pen is also a dream to write with. I no longer have to sync any apps or swap between a laptop and my iPad.
I use an app called Penultimate to take my notes with the pen and then this automatically syncs with Evernote. I am also able to write directly into OneNote and never have the problem of learning on the device and the pen not working or accidentally opening other Apps.
Therefore I would highly recommend this device over any other. My only problem with it is, its size. I can’t really read or write on it in bed (which I love to do) as it is too heavy and it also only fits in my larger tote bag.
4. iPad Pro 9.7 inch
I know it is extravagant but I recently purchased the iPad Pro in the smaller size which is the 9.7 inch. This size was not available when I purchased my 12 inch one so would have bought this had it been. It is everything that I love about the larger one but fits in my cross body bag and perfect for sitting on my bedside table for reading and writing when I need to.
So overall I would recommend the iPad Pro 9.7 inch over all the devices I have tried. You can also now buy a case for it that holds the pen and has an amazing backlit keyboard.
Do you have any other gadgets that you use to manage your paperless office? Please share in the comments below. Also look out for part two of this post where I shared with you the software that I use to manage my day.