Posted in Techniques, Tools

How to Take Steps Toward a Paperless Office | Lifehacker

The objective of the paperless office has been around for years and there is a pretty solid consensus that it is a pipe dream.  We’ll never completely be rid of paper (and as an analog fan I for one am happy with that) so we need to find ways to integrate paper storage and retrieval into our processes.

As a OneNote advocate, I’ve found the integration with Office Lens to be invaluable. I can capture paper to OneNote, OCR text on the page, and gather multiple pages into one note for easy organization. There are other tools out there that can accomplish similar things, but if asked I’d recommend OneNote for this in a heartbeat

Do you turn your paper assets into digital ones?  How do you manage the information? Tell me in the comments.

Posted in Uncategorized

Six organization tips for 2016

The new year is right around the corner so it’s time to start looking into ways to get organized for next year. Here’s six suggestions for getting a head start on kicking off the new year in a productive way:


Tip 1 – Clean off that digital desktop

If you’re like me your digital desktop can wind up a bit cluttered.  Take some time to get rid of shortcuts you don’t need, store files that need to be stored, and generally clean up.  If you’re not sure if you need to keep something on your desktop try this trick – create a folder and put the items in question in the folder.  Now as you need the items take them out of the folder.  If at the end of the year you still have items in the folder you never needed them so you can throw them out or put them away.

Tip 2 – Search for stuff

Take advantage of the search capabilities of tools such as Google Mail to find old, repetitive emails you may have received but no longer need.  Use the Archive liberally and clean out not only your inbox but the folders that go along with it.

Tip 3 – Turn paper into images

Analog advocates such as myself tend to amass a large number of notebooks.  While enjoyable, they’re not the easiest way to retrieve information.  Take a little time to take digital images of your notebook pages and then they can go on a shelf with the information along for the ride with you in your pocket.  Even better, if your printing is neat, some cloud storage services such as Google Drive can search your handwritten text the same way it searches normal text.

Tip 4 – Check those passwords

Almost all of us violate good rules of password safety in some way or form.  This is an excellent chance to update your password and if you haven’t already, implement a password manager to keep track of them.

Tip 5 – Rules, rules, rules

Email systems and services such as IFTTT are great ways to automate the things you do most often.  Take some time at the end of the year to look over what you do frequently and see if there aren’t some ways you can leverage rule based systems to help you organize emails, improve social media sharing, and generally act as a digital assistant.

Tip 6 – Journal it

Beginning with the new year start setting aside time each day to capture what worked well for you that day and what didn’t.  Over time you’ll start to see trends to help you identify opportunities to improve your organization and productivity.

There are hundreds of ways to improve your productivity and organization in the coming year.  Don’t try to do them all at once and don’t be surprised if some aren’t for you.  Flexibility is the key to success when trying to solve these kinds of problems.

Posted in Uncategorized

Six organization tips for 2016

The new year is right around the corner so it’s time to start looking into ways to get organized for next year. Here’s six suggestions for getting a head start on kicking off the new year in a productive way:


Tip 1 – Clean off that digital desktop

If you’re like me your digital desktop can wind up a bit cluttered.  Take some time to get rid of shortcuts you don’t need, store files that need to be stored, and generally clean up.  If you’re not sure if you need to keep something on your desktop try this trick – create a folder and put the items in question in the folder.  Now as you need the items take them out of the folder.  If at the end of the year you still have items in the folder you never needed them so you can throw them out or put them away.

Tip 2 – Search for stuff

Take advantage of the search capabilities of tools such as Google Mail to find old, repetitive emails you may have received but no longer need.  Use the Archive liberally and clean out not only your inbox but the folders that go along with it.

Tip 3 – Turn paper into images

Analog advocates such as myself tend to amass a large number of notebooks.  While enjoyable, they’re not the easiest way to retrieve information.  Take a little time to take digital images of your notebook pages and then they can go on a shelf with the information along for the ride with you in your pocket.  Even better, if your printing is neat, some cloud storage services such as Google Drive can search your handwritten text the same way it searches normal text.

Tip 4 – Check those passwords

Almost all of us violate good rules of password safety in some way or form.  This is an excellent chance to update your password and if you haven’t already, implement a password manager to keep track of them.

Tip 5 – Rules, rules, rules

Email systems and services such as IFTTT are great ways to automate the things you do most often.  Take some time at the end of the year to look over what you do frequently and see if there aren’t some ways you can leverage rule based systems to help you organize emails, improve social media sharing, and generally act as a digital assistant.

Tip 6 – Journal it

Beginning with the new year start setting aside time each day to capture what worked well for you that day and what didn’t.  Over time you’ll start to see trends to help you identify opportunities to improve your organization and productivity.

There are hundreds of ways to improve your productivity and organization in the coming year.  Don’t try to do them all at once and don’t be surprised if some aren’t for you.  Flexibility is the key to success when trying to solve these kinds of problems.

Posted in Uncategorized

Using OneNote to create Word documents

OneNote is an excellent tool for not only gathering content but organizing crafting materials for use.  One of the tricks I frequently use is the OneNote to Word save function for sections and notebooks.  You see, if you capture a variety of information in a section or in a notebook and need to share it with someone else, you can use the Save As function to save an entire section or notebook in OneNote to a Word document.  This way you don’t need to copy any content to Word for wordsmithing nor do you need to share the actual OneNote content.

 

The process is simple enough:

  1. Select the page(s), section, or notebook you want to save in OneNote
  2. Go to File: Save As
  3. Select if you want to save pages, a section, or a notebook to Word
  4. Select the Word format

 

That’s it.  The Word document will be generated from all the content of the pages, section, or notebook you selected.  You can now go back and edit the Word document as much as you want.  The process also works for the creation of PDF files and single file Web pages.

 

If you’re using OneNote to capture status reports or for requirements gathering, this process coupled with OneNote templates is an excellent way to streamline your workflow and share information in a clear and professional manner.

—–

This process was tested on OneNote 2010, desktop version.


Update – The process only works for pages and sections, not for whole notebooks. Notebooks can be saved as PDF files but not as editable word documents.  Thanks to OneNote Central for catching this.

Posted in Uncategorized

Magazine organization with Springpad

Peter Walsh offered an idea on the last Springpad Show about managing magazines.  The idea is to only keep a few back issues and then take out the things you want to keep in older copies, take pictures of the content to store in Springpad, and then recycle the magazines.

My suggestion is to take this idea one step further.  Since each note in Springpad can handle multiple images, take your magazine and go through it page by page, photographing each page using the Springpad app on your mobile device, stacking them all into one note.  You can then use tags to identify the topics in the note for easy reference later.

If you’re more into grouping the content by article topic, just create a Photo note and add pictures of each part of the article.  Each note becomes an article and you can use tags and notebooks to keep everything clean and neat.

The magazine tip starts at 8:43…

Happy Springing!

Posted in Techniques

Magazine organization with OneNote – Updated

Since Springpad went offline a few years ago we’ve been left with a functional gap in the productivity space. I’m going back through some of the ideas and applications we had for Springpad and updating them for use in OneNote.
Magazine management isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be, with printed periodicals falling by the wayside next to digital ones and web centric content. But if you’re like me you still probably get one or two magazines you enjoy. Using OneNote on a mobile device, you can capture the pages and articles from the magazine (including the cover) into a note and then have it available at any time.  The big upside of this (aside from getting rid of clutter) is OneNote will render the text in the article searchable making the printed magazine significantly more useful to you.

Peter Walsh offered an idea on the last Springpad Show about managing magazines.  The idea is to only keep a few back issues and then take out the things you want to keep in older copies, take pictures of the content to store in Springpad, and then recycle the magazines.My suggestion is to take this idea one step further.  Since each note in Springpad can handle multiple images, take your magazine and go through it page by page, photographing each page using the Springpad app on your mobile device, stacking them all into one note.  You can then use tags to identify the topics in the note for easy reference later.

If you’re more into grouping the content by article topic, just create a Photo note and add pictures of each part of the article.  Each note becomes an article and you can use tags and notebooks to keep everything clean and neat.

The magazine tip starts at 8:43…

Happy Springing!