Friday, January 25, 2013

Why do you need paper if you have an iPad?

At the time of typing this blog update, I've been traveling paper-free for the past 18 months.  While I continue to use a pen to sign the various paperwork that hits my desk, I haven't had any problems leaving the notepad and paper behind.  Even my use of Livescribe has reduced as I regularly grab my iPad on the way to meetings.  

I know that many people desire to be paper free. Unfortunately, many never get over the paper addiction   For readers that have no intention of giving up paper as a compliment to their iPad -I respect your freedom to do so.  However - for those that are struggling to kick the paper habit, I have a few ideas that may help 

1.  Always charge your iPad at night.  This is more of a habit that one needs to be in than a real concern for most users.  You need to start a habit of charging your iPad every night.  Even if it is close to a full charge, you need to plug it in.  If it's plugged in at night, both the iPad 2 and iPad 3 can go at least 8 hours using it constantly through meetings.  

2.  Use an external keyboard.  This is obviously a preference issue but I just don't believe its possible to  type as fast with the onboard keyboard as you can with an external.  On the rare day that I forget my external keyboard, I find myself operating at a much slower pace.  In terms of stylus usage, I think that has its place for drawing and signing documents but for business note taking it just doesn't seem to be as effective (plus it's too much like writing on paper).  This is my opinion and the path I took to evolving beyond pen and paper.

3.  Find a note-taking program you like.  I'll be the first to admit that out of the box, the iPad has limitations.  You need to find a note taking program that works for you.  I am an Evernote Evangelist.  No doubt about it.  However, that isn't the only program in town.  Do some research and try out other programs if Evernote doesn't seem to meet your needs.  

4.  Just carry your iPad - survive without paper.  This has been mentioned in other entries but it can't be overstated.  You can adjust to living without paper - you just have to start leaving it behind.  Apps continue to develop for the iPad.  Need to make a quick note?  Give Siri a try.  I've found the latest update to be much better at recognizing my voice. 

At this point, I can't call what I'm doing an experiment - I've fully adopted my iPad as my work solution.  I encourage others to consider doing the same.