Getting Organised

By Peter, September 4, 2010 18:40


moleskine2 With the current techniques it becomes more and more possible to organise your work in a more convenient way. The accessibility of the Internet everywhere you are is also helping a lot. But with all the different ways of working and all the different devices it is also getting more and more difficult at the same time to make the right choices. Is it that our thinking about the best possibilities is already demanding a proper organisation of our way of working? Maybe this is a little bit the case, as I have been looking for the most efficient way of working for a long time. Maybe I can make a next step with the following combination of hard-, software and people. Let’s have a look.

I know this blog will look like another way of telling you all, that I have bought a new machine again. And although this is also true, it is the combination of all the ingredients. cloud1 The secret is probably having all your info and documents at the same place, accessible and to be changed from anywhere with all kind of devices. Also known as cloud computing. (Was it Apple who started the cloud with their MobileMe service?). But on top of that, the speed of entering information in your total information system is key. I will come back to that later. And when everything is in, you should also be able to find everything back within a limited time. And in the meantime the info should help you automatically to make the right decisions at the right time. Looks like an impossible task. I do not want to have the latest SAP/R3 version on one of my laptops. What kind of  software do I need?


onenote2 The centre of my information need has become OneNote 2010. This is where I started to build up my new information strategy. This program can collect all kind of info. You can put text (typed or handwritten), pictures, video’s and sound clips on a one single page. And you can even clip parts of your screen, no matter what program is on that screen. But you can also print directly from any application to a page in your OneNote 2010 Notebook.  There is a separate printer driver installed after installing OneNote 2010.  And that page I am talking about will be part of a section of one of your notebooks, like one of those old Moleskin notebooks everyone knows and everyone still loves to use; I am no exception to that rule to be honest. OK these notebooks can be put in you back pocket, but they cannot contain that much and that rich information as the electronic (or digital) counterpart OneNote 2010 can hold. On top of that (if you have a Windows Live ID) you can store your OneNote 2010 Notebook on the Internet and can access it from every computer. You can even give access to other people to (a few of) your notebooks or sections.


hp-touchsmart-tm2-2 But then comes the question: what will be the best device to fill and use this database of information? One question does not need to be asked: should it be Mac or Windows? OneNote 2010 is part of the Microsoft Office family and although there is a dedicated Mac version of Microsoft Office, there is no OneNote version for the Mac. So (unfortunately) only a Windows machine is capable to do the job. But which machine will help you to get those different things HP-TouchSmart-tm2-3 quickly in that OneNote 2010 database? Which machine can also put in written text and can record my voice? Maybe it should even be able to understand my speech and transfer it into proper text? I can tell you, it is all possible! Of course this is a combination of hard- en software. But the hardware I have chosen for this task is the new laptop from HP, the tm2-2000ed. So last Friday I went to Informatique, a local computer store with high quality service and a very fast checkout process.

hp-pavilion-tm2-200ed-4 This new laptop from Hewlett-Packard is not that new. In the past there have also been models that were a laptop that could be easily transferred into a tablet PC, but with the new low power consuming and fast processors I think that this model is the first one that is really fit to do his job in a proper way. New techniques in translating the pen movements are not only faster but also more accurate. You could also use your fingers to browse through your music, photos or videos, but that’s not the purpose I bought it for. One extra feature that can be really useful is the possibility that you can use some basic functions already before having started Windows, so that means after a few seconds you can already use your machine and choose not to start up Windows at all. These basic functions are checking your mail, some browsing, agenda, playing your music and some more. I have not checked it out yet if this is some Linux code or whatever, but it is a nice to have, not a need to have (yet).

nuance1 Like I said, OneNote 2010 is the centre of all the information gathering, but how can I put it in, in the fastest way? Not only by writing on my tablet PC and having the choice to let it be converted into proper text (although OneNote 2010 can also read and therefore search your written (not converted) scribbles), but how nice it would be to speak to your computer and let the machine convert that speech into text. Well, that is also possible these days and it is also getting into more perfection with every upgrade to a newer version. The program I use for this is published by Nuance and is called Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I use the version 10, although a new version was just released. It is so amazing to see your text on the screen growing just before your eyes, after just talking to your computer. Of course the software has to be trained to recognise your voice. You do that by reading out loud all kind of short stories and based on what the software hears, it adjusts its settings and is getting more and more accurate. So nice to watch and so easy to use. And not only for inputting text but also for giving commands to the computer. You can also use a memo recorder (like the Olympus VN-5500PC DNS) and record your reports or text in the recorder and connect the recorder to the computer through its built-in USB connector and let the Dragon software do the rest. It is really amazing and it makes the circle complete.


You can put everything in a system and let the system help you, but without the interpretation of people and the help of an assistant, your database is only half effective. I think that counts for every system. Of course the cooperation with your assistant is also key. But all these gadgets can help us to keep track in the information jungle. One disadvantage to it all: OneNote 2010 is only available for Windows and not for Apple Mac. The Dragon software from Nuance is already available for Mac OS, let’s hope OneNote will follow. We have to live with it. One positive thing for the Apple addicts: the program MobileNoter can make your notebooks from OneNote 2010 visible on an Apple iPad and iPhone.


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