The paperless office

It was a few years ago that this phrase was born, a sort of utopian world where you no longer needed a pen and paper. We would speak at computers or type away. It wasn’t something that I could do easily. I like scribbling ideas and notes in my Moleskine books.

Latterly I had settled on a squared book, which contained pages of sketches, notes, to-do lists and minutes of meetings. It was a great aide-memoire.

But I have seen the light. And gone paperless (well almost).

I have had an iPad for some time (actually since the day they were launched) – but a few weeks ago, I got an iPad2 – and swapped my old machine with a colleague. I found that I wasn’t using the 3G capabilities – and he wanted that facility.

The new bit of kit spurred me into action and I decided to see if I could manage without my notebook. And since 10th October I haven’t scribbled anything in it. It is partly because I have discovered Evernote – which is a free App – and one that synchronises with my iPad, macbook air, iPhone and iMac. It is really clever – it lets me clip things to it – web addresses, PDF files and the like. All of my projects are in one place. I can add to notes and they are sorted by project.

Alongside this I am using DropBox and Iprocrastinate for my to-do list and for sharing documents respectively.

It was interesting to be at a clients office last week – and be able to discuss some land with him – by showing him a crystal clear OS map on my iPad – rather than one of my sketches! Of course, I could have printed the plan off, but I didn’t know I was going to be discussing this particular matter when I went to see him. As I build up the notes and database, I can see this method of working becoming more useful.

And just in case, for the moment, I am carrying my notebook around… I wonder what a psychiatrist would make of that! Safety Net?

When Apple goes bad

Most people know that I am a huge fan of Apple. I have the full range of kit, an iMac, Macbook Air, ipad2, iPod, apple TV, iphone4 etc. I like it because it works. And having had years of staring at Microsoft egg-timers it was a refreshing change to plug and play!

The new iCloud?

The new iOS launched last week was going to be really interesting as it shifts much of the connectivity up onto the Apple Cloud and thus allows you to share everything you have between devices. On the face of it this sounds great (although I have used idisk for a couple of years quite successfully – and that is to become defunct next year).

But the transition has not all been good. I can forgive the long download times, because what Apple do most of the time is not provide sticky plasters – but rather the whole programme refreshed.

But in my move to the iCloud (I have an Apple Mac account) I must have pressed the wrong button. I allowed ical (the electronic diary) to merge with my work (outlook) diary. This it turns out was a mistake. Over the next few hours my work diary was reduced to blank pages. My ical is now beautifully full – and looks ugh prettier than the Microsoft system.

This is great – except that my office uses Microsoft. My PA books my appointments on her PC.

This morning that has all changed. I spent a frustrating two hours yesterday trying to undo the damage, but alas, you can’t go backwards. My guess is that Apple are just trying to educe Microsoft’s hold…

The technical forums are full of questions, but have no answers!

Sometimes Apple can be just a little bit frustrating…

The good news was short lived….

I blogged about the potential disaster I had with my trusted AppleMac Pro. It managed to get patched up two months ago. But in the last week it was clear that it was not a terribly happy patient.

It has had it’s motherboard and hard drive replaced, but it was becoming unstable and I decided that I couldn’t risk being without it. It has lasted me around 4 years so (in computer terms) it has done well.

So, on the day that Steve Jobs announced his retirement as CEO from Apple, I spent some more hard earned cash with the Company (it didn’t help their share price!) and bought a new iMac 27″ machine. The transfer of data took 11 hours and 3 minutes! This was perhaps mostly my ginormous iTunes library – all 300gb of it (51,000 songs).

It was pretty painless – except that at the moment I can’t print, as MacOS Lion doesn’t like our Canon machine. They don’t speak which is disappointing as they are both new and shiny?

The screen is astonishing – and makes my other 23″ monitor look positively ‘soft’….

I have also got more of my desk back as it is so slim.

My colleagues keep asking me if I fancy going back to the dark side of PC’s. No thanks.

My next resolution is to start listening to my whole iTunes library. I have worked out that if I start this morning and leave it running, we will have played everything by 12th January next year – assuming I leave it on for 24 hours each day…