Archive for June, 2008

Digital Life Artist Inc “The ultimate guide to paperless joy”

June 11, 2008

www.digitallifeartist.com

The terms “paperless,” “electronic,” and “digital” are often used interchangeably to describe work which previously was done with paper, but which now has been adapted to information and communication technology (ICT) devices and software.

 

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has defined information technology (IT) in the electronic era as “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.” IT entails processes involving the use of computers and software to create, convert, store, process, transmit, and retrieve information securely. The term has recently been broadened to ICT (Information and Communications Technology), so as to include the idea of electronic communication.

 

To be paperless means essentially that the traditional paper-based practices-such as writing, note taking, reading, editing, communicating, and even drawing-are instead performed electronically with ICT devices and software. Much has been said and written about the paperless office in recent years, and the rapid development of ICT is enabling an increasing number of paperless practices.

 

The relationship between paperless work styles and ICT is intimate and interdependent; a paperless work and lifestyle cannot be implemented without ICT, and the use of ICT should naturally lead to becoming paperless. Paradoxically, however, the consumption of paper has increased exponentially since the advent of personal computers and printers. The main reason for this lies in the fact that we have become conditioned to use paper since our childhood, and we may not have fully grasped the many opportunities and advantages that paperless work practices can bring.

 

The advantages of replacing paper-based practices with digital ones are numerous, and here we list a few of the most important:

 

– Enjoy flexible work schedules and generate more free time.
– Enjoy a greater freedom of mobility and a lesser need to travel.
– Gain greater control of your private and personal businesses.
– Enjoy cost saving.
– Enable safer document archiving.
– Become more productive and efficient.
– Become more environment friendly.

 

Digital Life Artist Inc provides the most comprehensive guidance on paperless work and lifestyles, and how to enjoy the many paperless advantages both at an individual and organizational level. The most comprehensive guide on paperless work- and lifestyles, can be found here: http://www.digitallifeartist.com/publications_PJ.html

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The Dictaphone

June 11, 2008

This is one of the most useful devices for taking notes fast and in a spontaneous way, when a PDA or tablet PC would be inconvenient. The digital Dictaphone (or voice recorder or transcriber) can also be used for interviewing someone or recording a lecture. This, and other similar devices, stores the audio as a digital file on a flash memory card for later transfer to a computer. In combination with speech recognition software, this device can also be used to create typed text….but one has to speak clearly and not too fast. The dictaphone in combination with a microphone, can be used to create texts when commuting with automobile; record the text as speech and then transfer it to a computer and translate it into typed text through speech recognition software. Hence, this is a definitive boost to your paperless office.

Use commuting time wisely and get paperless tasks done

June 11, 2008

A large fraction of today’s workforce spends over an hour each day commuting by automobile to and from work. This time is in many cases considered lost where nothing else than the actual commute is taking place, and maybe some passive listening to a radio station or music CD. While listening to the radio or music is useful, one can recover some of the commuting time to actually get office work done, or learn something in a more targeted way. The PDA phone can be used to make phone calls to clients and collaborators. Make sure to use a headset for listening and conversations since you need both hands free for safe driving. The PDA phone can also be used to listed to audiobooks (through the headset) and through that learn a new language or, for example, how to become better at negotiatiating. The beauty if this type of multitasking is that it will make the commuting time more useful and also seem shorter since time passes by faster when we are actively engaged in learning.

PDA Phone: the ultimate handheld paperless device

June 11, 2008

A PDA phone is one of the most versatile and multifunctional information and communication technology (ICT) devices (or gadgets). It is basically a handheld computer (or personal digital assistant; PDA) with cellular phone and wireless internet capabilities. Some PDA phones are also equipped photography/video capabilities, and are mainly used to:
– Communicate through wireless phone, email, chat, sms and text messaging (you could even do fax through an Internet service).
– Access the Internet and almost all services provided on the World Wide Web.
– Perform common PDA enabled tasks, such as time and task management with electronic calendars, contact management, and a variety of third party software applications that can range from word processing, financial analyses, games, medical dictionaries and even GPS based geographic orientation.

PDA phones have also evolved into powerful multimedia and entertainment devices since they can be used for photography, video and audio. A range of different games exist for the different PDA phone operating systems, and some have even radio and TV capabilities.

The most useful attribute of a PDA phone is probably the combination of PDA and wireless communications capabilities since this permits mobile real-time synchronization of time management, contact and other types of data between the PDA phone and other ICT devices (desktop and laptop computers) that are linked to the network.

Let’s look at the following example to better illustrate the usefulness of having many functionalities integrated into one handheld device: You have just been called on the phone by a new client and he gives you his contact information. You use the PDA phone audio recorder to record the part of the conversation which contains the address. After the call you link the number that called you with this contact name and address in the contact list. You open the internet browser and do a simple search on your client’s (or his company’s) name to obtain more background information which you then can paste onto his contact entry. Then you take a picture of yourself and attach it along with your contact information to an email which you send. Shortly thereafter, he responds per email with an attached file that contains a document that you have been asked to edit. You use the PDA phone’s word processing software to open the document and read it. Later you link a foldable and portable keyboard to the PDA phone through a Bluetooth connection and edit the document almost as conveniently as it would have been using a laptop. You finally email the edited document back to your client.

A Smartphone is different from a PDA phone in that it is mainly a cellular phone with some limited PDA capabilities. A Smartphone usually lack editing capabilities and only enable viewing of for instance PDF documents or even Internet pages.

Consumer book scanner

June 11, 2008

This is a relatively cheap but very useful flatbed scanner that has been specifically designed to scan books. The edge of this scanner allows for scanning close to the book page edge and without bending the book spine too much. It can do b&w, grey and color, and the scanner software in combination with document management software makes the conversion of a 300 pages book (at 9 seconds per page it will take about 1 hour) into a PDF file quite simple, but boring process. However, once you have scanned your library into electronic format, you’ll be able to take and access it anywhere. I used Craig’s list to find paid help with book scanning, and have by now scanned my entire library.

 

Electronic ink eBook reader

June 11, 2008

This is one of the most useful gadgets (or ICT devices) have bought in the past year; an electronic ink eBook reader. The main advantages of this device are: its low weight, small size and very low energy consumption. It is based on so called electronic ink technology which gives the screen and text a paper-like look. Electricity from the battery is only consumed when the page is turned, and this feature will allow for weeks of reading without a re-charge. The device can also play MP3 files so you can listen to music while reading. With a 4HB memory stick you can have hundreds (maybe thousands) of books with you for reading on the go, or in bed. The eBook reader can be used to read books or documents in the manufacturer’s eBook format, and also PDF and the regular word format. The technology is expected to evolve rapidly and we will soon see similar devices with color screens and maybe even highlighting and note taken capabilities.

Scan selected text on the go

June 11, 2008

This is one of my favorite devices: a handheld portable scanner that can scan in typed text from books, magazines or newspapers into its memory or directly into a word processor. This is the perfect tool – or electronic highlighter – if you need to need to copy selected text sections from printed material. It is lightweight, battery driven and can also be used as a translators when any of the 11 different languages have been loaded into its memory.

Radically changing my office environment

June 11, 2008

 Here I have taken my work office to Tulum on Yucatan, and could enjoy complete computing, reading and communications capabilities. My tablet laptop pc (to the right) provides note taking and computing abilities, and contains all my professional documents and files. It can wirelessly connect to Internet and thereby allow access to information and communication. My Smartphone (in the middle) synchronizes with the exchange server every five minutes which will allow for continuous access to email, messenger, Internet and phone. It can also be used for document reading and editing, and listening to audiobooks and music. When WiFi networks are unavailable it can also serve as a download center for email attachments and documents retrieved from the Internet. Such files can then be transferred to the laptop through a SD memory card. My electronic ink eBook (to the left) gives me access to my entire library of fiction an non-fiction books on the go, without the need for electricity grid access. I can always connect to the eBook store on Internet and download any of the thousands different titles through my laptop if needed. A webcam (not shown) enables live face-to-face communication – teleconferencing or chat – through the laptop. I can largely “clone” my regular work or home office to more inspiring environments with these three lightweight ICT (Information & Communication Technology) devices. I edited two manuscripts and wrote parts of my book on paperless work/lifestyles during my three day stay in Tulum – and I of course also enjoyed the beach, reserves and archeological sites.

Paperless work office decoration

June 11, 2008

The minimalistic features of a paperles office often leaves wall and desk surfaces empty and grey. Add plants, color and texture to create a more stimulating work environment.

My paperless work office

June 11, 2008

Paperless Office

 This is my paperless work office. Note the complete 100% lack of paper! The essential devices here are:

1. A powerfull PC.
2. Three monitors to enable work involving several documents.
3. A 1 TB external hard drive for back-up and storage.
4. A scanner with aoutoloader to rapidly and easily convert paper documents into electronic format.
5. A headset for voice recognition -based operation of software and text editing, and communications through messengers.
6. A webcam for video conferencing, remote-lecturing and chat.
7. A gyroscopic mouse for desk-free operation.
8. A USB flash drive for easy transfer of documents.
9. A printer (yes a printer) to print documents on paper when that is required by regulations.
10. A telephone for communications.
11. A tablet-PC / laptop to work when on the go, and take notes at seminars and meetings.