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Has anyone gone "All Digital?"

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  • Has anyone gone "All Digital?"

    My office is being converted to "flex workspace."

    What this means is that I will be expected to work from home at least 2 days a week, and when I do come into the office, I will have to sign into a system and be given a new random desk each day.

    Well, with a setup like this, keeping paper anything is next to impossible.

    I need a digital tickler file, digital reference, digital everything, since I no longer will even have a file cabinet to store any paperwork.

    Other than list managers, what are people using for things such as tickler files, and reference? Is there a scanner you use to scan in any real paperwork you need to maintain?

  • #2
    I have very little paper moving around in my system, but it's difficult to get rid of all of it. Here's what I use:

    My bag has just three things in it most days: an iPad, the Davidco folder set and a Levenger circa notebook.

    I use Evernote for digital reference.

    I use Simplenotes for project support notes.

    I use Mindnode for mind maps.

    I take pictures of documents with my iPhone. There are several programs that do useful things with such documents, but you can also use the stock photo app. This has been particularly handy in dealing with elderly parent issues. The US health care system- need I say more?

    I try to keep email as simple as possible: extract useful data as it comes in, and one big archive folder per year.

    I use Dropbox to sync files everywhere.

    I've chosen an all-Apple approach that works well for me. You may be constrained by company policy and by mandated company hardware and software.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by apastuszak View Post
      I need a digital tickler file, digital reference, digital everything, since I no longer will even have a file cabinet to store any paperwork.

      Other than list managers, what are people using for things such as tickler files, and reference? Is there a scanner you use to scan in any real paperwork you need to maintain?
      I'm trying to move to a nearly all digital system. I'm Mac based so I use Omnifocus as my list manager. For digital reference I use DEVONThink. I have a DT database that is stuff I have scanned and pulled in and one that is just an index into my digital file cabinet on my Mac. My electronic tickler is in Omnifocus, either I make projects active with start dates or I have single action items with start dates. I still have a paper tickler as well. The scanner I use for everything I am converting to digital is a ScanSnap S510M that I've had for several years. Love the fast easy double sided scanning with the ScanSnap.

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      • #4
        Company issued Blackberry has the camera disabled by IT policy. You can use the photocopier down the hall to do scans, but they're B&W AND you have to manually enter your internet email address using the touchpad on the front to deliver it to you, which is more time consuming than you think. I think it's time to put a purchase request in for a scanner.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by apastuszak View Post
          Company issued Blackberry has the camera disabled by IT policy. You can use the photocopier down the hall to do scans, but they're B&W AND you have to manually enter your internet email address using the touchpad on the front to deliver it to you, which is more time consuming than you think. I think it's time to put a purchase request in for a scanner.
          I'm so curious--why has the camera been disabled? I've never heard of such an IT policy. For what reason?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
            I'm so curious--why has the camera been disabled? I've never heard of such an IT policy. For what reason?
            I don't know apastuszak's reason, but I work at a nuclear power plant. Until about a year ago, use of any cell-phone camera was prohibited. It's all about the obvious security issues. I can see a lot of firms outside of nuclear power not wanting to have hundreds of roving cameras that could provide physical- or intellectual-security (e.g., industrial-espionage) issues.

            Joe

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            • #7
              I'm pretty much all electronic. I scan in any hardcopy documents that I may receive from others, which isn't that many as the whole company works mostly electronic.
              I have a Windows folder for ticker file information, and an Outlook folder for tickler stuff as well.
              Reference is all in digital folders too, just stick the documents in there.
              I use OneNote a lot for keeping track of all my project support and reference info.
              Works pretty well.

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              • #8
                More expensive "secure" smartphone with no camera!

                Originally posted by apastuszak View Post
                Company issued Blackberry has the camera disabled by IT policy.
                Someone should get it (Blackberry is doomed - they don't understand anything) and create a more expensive "secure" smartphone with no camera!

                I can imagine the ad "The only blind smartphone in the world! No pixels to spy on you!".

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                • #9
                  I don't know of anyone who has gone 100% digital. It takes time and effort to convert paper to digital format. The conversion has to add enough value to overcome the resistance to doing it. I can create a paper file in under one minute but I can't say the same about scanning and filing. It takes at least double that.

                  I have a processing station at the office and one at home. At the office I deal with very little paper input (though I do have a cubicle with a single filing cabinet drawer). I do not have a paper-based tickler file at work, but I do at home.

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                  • #10
                    Purely paper-less is a hassle. I tried it and I never managed to get rid of it all for various reasons.

                    While I keep all my lists in OmniFocus, I still love to write and scribble on paper. I also keep part of my journaling on paper.

                    Can you setup your physical filing cabinet at home and then only bring the files you will need in folders?

                    Another idea I have played with is using an archive box as my filing cabinet. I put empty and used folders in there and if I need it elsewhere, I put the lit on and carry it over. This is also the one I still use for remaining paper files in my life.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not there yet, but I'm definitely heading that way. I've just moved my filing cabinet to the attic, for the paper I do have to keep, but I'm trying to resist my packrat tendencies and throw away papers I've scanned. I've got a ScanSnap s1500 and it's one of the best things I ever bought.

                      Like Oogie, OmniFocus looks after my lists and electronic tickler, so there's not much paper around there.

                      And I blame Barb for making me fall in love with the iPad Mini which has just arrived. I found the bigger iPad a little unwieldy for reading, so often fell back to paper, but I think the iPad Mini will change that, particularly once it's available with a retina display.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
                        I'm so curious--why has the camera been disabled? I've never heard of such an IT policy. For what reason?
                        I work for a bank and it's a security concern. Any communication that's "outside" the organization: email, phone calls is monitored. Webmail is blocked, both for corporate mail and third party mail. And all web surfing is logged. All this is done to ensure we do all we can to make sure customer data does not leak.

                        Having the camera enabled wouldn't do me any good anyway, since we buy the cheapest Blackberries possible. The camera is VGA resolution and is not suitable for photographing any kind of documentation at a resolution to make it readable.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                          Someone should get it (Blackberry is doomed - they don't understand anything) and create a more expensive "secure" smartphone with no camera!

                          I can imagine the ad "The only blind smartphone in the world! No pixels to spy on you!".
                          There are "Enterprise" versions of the Blackberry that don't have cameras. But they actually cost more than the Blackberry with the camera in them. So we buy the cheaper Blackberry and disable the cameras on the BES.

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                          • #14
                            There are tons of software out there which can handle my list management needs. The issue is more with ticklers. Getting software to completely hide something till the day it's due is pretty difficult. I did manage to get something working using Remember the Milk, but RTM doesn't allow you to arrange you list items in any order other than alphabetical or priority number, which is insanely annoying.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by apastuszak View Post
                              There are tons of software out there which can handle my list management needs. The issue is more with ticklers. Getting software to completely hide something till the day it's due is pretty difficult. I did manage to get something working using Remember the Milk, but RTM doesn't allow you to arrange you list items in any order other than alphabetical or priority number, which is insanely annoying.
                              What I've done with software that does not have start dates is set up a digital list called "Ticklers" and then make the equivalence due date on tickler = start or reminder date. I then don't look at the Tickler's list except to add items. This is assuming that the software will aggregate due items from across lists, which most do.

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