One of my most popular series of posts explained Why and How I Went Paperless and How You Can Too--There Had to be a Better Way! My first paperless article was posted in May, 2013.
It is time for an update. After three years my workflow is still paperless. The hardware and application options are better than ever making a paperless workflow easier, less expensive, and more productive than ever.
Benefits of Going Paperless
There are many benefits to going paperless. In addition to what I listed in the first article, I would include the following:
- I have everything I need, anytime, anywhere, on any device
- Less stress
- Less clutter
- Less stuff to carry, especially when traveling
- Improved integration of personal and professional projects
- Sets an example of technology integration for my staff
- Keeps me current with the times and tech "savvy"
- Easier and more enjoyable than juggling both paper and digital content
Hardware and Applications
I separate much, but not all, of my digital life into personal and my professional categories, using specific applications for each. Before listing the hardware and software I use it is important that I explain that the system I describe works whether you use Windows, Apple, or Google devices. This is important because my methodology does not require my preferred devices--which are Apple.
I will simply note that I use Apple devices for many reasons but here is a big one for working paperlessly: Apple hardware enables me to use applications FROM ALL THREE of the biggest technology companies: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. If I used Windows hardware I would be restricted to Microsoft and Google applications. If I used a Google Chromebook and other Google hardware I'd be restricted in the same way. With Apple devices, I can use Microsoft Office 365, Apple's iWork and iLife suites, and Google apps. This gives me maximum flexibility.
Again, one can easily go paperless as a Windows, Google, or an Apple user. With that clarification, below is a listing of the hardware and applications that I use most often.
iPad Pro 12.9 with:
-- Apple Pencil
iPad Pro Replacing My Laptop
The iPad Pro is a genuinely revolutionary device. Until the iPad Pro became available, my iPad was primarily a consumption device. That is no longer true. I am now using my iPad Pro for 98% of my work--and I'm a power user. In fact, I no longer travel with my MacBook nor do I take it home in the evenings. I rely completely on the iPad Pro except in a few very rare instances.
Why the iPad Pro is So Useful
Here is why the iPad Pro is such a useful and delightful device:
- 12 hours of battery life on a single charge
- Light, weighing only 1.59 pounds
- Beautiful screen which is easy on the eyes and good for reading
- A light very functional Smart Keyboard that doubles as a screen cover
- No need for a second keyboard--the Smart Keyboard is charged by the iPad
- Split screen and multi-tasking are a breeze
- Large screen
- A pencil that leaves no marks from one's palm and fingers and that works nearly as well as pen and paper for taking notes
- One device for everything with only one GUI (Graphic User Interface) and Operating System to master. I use the iPad Pro for writing, spreadsheets, emails, web searches, scanning (wirelessly with both the ScanSnap scanner and the Scanner Pro app.), music, photo processing, movie production, presentation development and delivery, reading and note taking, project tracking, video conferences, file storage and much more--all on one device.
Replacing Teacher Laptops?
We have had several administrators and teachers piloting the iPad Pro as a replacement for MacBooks. They have been so pleased with the results that we are seriously considering replacing all teacher MacBooks with iPad Pros. This will save us money in the long run (our teachers have both Macs and iPad Airs) because we can replace two devices with one. It also makes life easier for teachers and training much easier and consistent. It also simplifies support for our IT department.
Not Everything is Perfect
The iPad Pro is not perfect primarily because there are still a few limitations with iOS 9. I expect many of these to be addressed with upcoming iOS 10 and future updates because Apple is clearly committed to making the iPad Pro a major computing platform.
Here are a few of the current limitations/frustrations using the iPad Pro:
- It can be difficult to manipulate multiple files simultaneously. I do not often need to do this but when I do, the iPad is limited.
- You can only have one instance of an application running--not two or more. On a laptop you can open an application more than once to put documents side-by-side. For example, on the Mac I can open Word twice to have two word documents side-by-side on my screen. This ability is not yet available on the iPad.
- One must learn new ways of achieving results. This is not difficult but it does require patience and steadfastness to learn new applications for accomplishing tasks on the iPad. In many cases the iPad apps are superior to what is available for a laptop but it takes some searching and a learning curve to learn new approaches. But, we are suppose to be life-long learners," right?
What it Will Take for You to Go Paperless
I highly recommend that you work to move to a paperless workflow. But, I do not want to mislead you--it takes a commitment and at least six months to become proficient. You will have to commit yourself to being LESS PRODUCTIVE AT FIRST in order to be much more productive later. As the aphorism goes, "no pain, no gain!"
I Can Help
I will be happy to assist you if you like. Feel free to email me at Blmosbacker@gmail.com if you would like to arrange a call to discuss how to go paperless. I'd be happy to answer your basic questions and to give you some tips.
I am also willing to give you a full day of personal coaching and assistance, for a modest fee, if you like. Just email me.
This Article Was Written and Posted Using the iPad Pro
This blog post is the first I have written and posted using only my iPad Pro using the Ulysses applications and Squarespace. This is but one demonstration of how effective using one device for everything can be.
Paperless is more Productive! Give it a try! You don't need an iPad Pro to go paperless but it takes the process to the next level of productivity.