4 Replies - 1715 Views - Last Post: 10 July 2014 - 07:38 AM

#1 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Almost as good as paper

Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:54 PM

I was at a motorbike show at the weekend and one of the trade stands was promoting their mobile app. It lets you log everything you need about your vehicles: costs, mileage, MOT/tax/insurance dates and much more besides. It gives you reminders so you don't forget to renew things. It sounds genuinely useful and I'm sure it will help a lot of people keep their vehicle and its paperwork in order. the-zebra.com if you are interested.

But I've already got that. I use www.fuelly.com for mileage, a spreadsheet for my budget and my GTD system takes care of reminders and miscellaneous notes (and is not just limited to vehicles).

However, something they said made me think: "it's easy to track your mileage at the pump". So while I'm trying to juggle my gloves, helmet, keys, wallet and card I can quickly tap into my phone my four or five digit mileage, three digit litres of petrol and four digit pence per litre. No thanks. I'll just ask the assistant to scribble my mileage on the back of the receipt (which already has the rest of the information) and I can key it all in later.

For taking mileage at the pump, it really was almost as good as paper. It got me wondering about other tools that complicate my life rather than simplifying it. I often wonder if I'd be better off organising my GTD system on paper rather than electronically or if life would be easier and cheaper if I sell my car and get a taxi when I really need one.

However, what it really really got me wondering about was Evernote. Evernote sings and dances. You can put pictures in it, probably videos too. You can clip web pages to it. You can search it. It can understand your scribbly handwriting.

There is some really impressive stuff in there. Do you know what I do with it? I write plain text notes. I occasionally read the plain text notes and once in a blue moon I search them. Dropbox, a text editor and grep do what I need and I can probably find a simpler alternative to Dropbox. Keeping my notes alongside my spreadsheets and other personal files has advantages too. Like, they are all together.

For me, Evernote could be replaced with cloud storage. But not everyone likes plain text. Many use Word to save their memos (and sometimes their pictures too) so it seems that cloud storage would be a better solution for them too.

What started with me considering dropping Evernote has led me to wonder if Evernote has become obsolete. I'm sure a lot of people here use it so I'd like to hear your opinions.

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Replies To: Almost as good as paper

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Almost as good as paper

Posted 09 July 2014 - 06:36 PM

I make a lot of use of pens and paper - I buy legal pads in bricks of a dozen, and I go through them at a great rate, and all of my design and most of my math is done on a white board. I really can't imagine an electronic replacement for either of those tools working nearly as well as the real thing. I've tried the various gizmos and gadgets, but nothing really compares to just writing it down.
The closest thing I've seen to an electronic supplement to my note-taking is the LiveScribe pen, which records the audio context and syncs it to what you're writing down. This is cool, but I'm not convinced that it would be actually useful, or if it's just the gee whiz factor that works for me.
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#3 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Almost as good as paper

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:17 AM

Agreed with jon.kiparsky

I have stacks of legal pads, note cards, note books, etc. I have a white board (though I need a new one) and a cork board. It just works for me.

If my white board, or cork board, has something I want to save. I might take a photo of it.

The only down side to this is searching is a little more difficult. But in the same respect, I kind of enjoy flipping through all my pads and notebooks. See the ideas I've spit balled over the years.
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#4 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Almost as good as paper

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:29 AM

I agree with both above. I just prefer to write things down and looking at it. doing things on let's say a computer calc program just takes to much time and effort to use it, sure you get quick answers but you have to find the program, type in the numbers and hope you typed them in right. if you screw up you have to clear it all where in paper you can just change the number you mess up. I personally just like the feel of paper over digital sometimes.
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#5 BetaWar  Icon User is online

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Re: Almost as good as paper

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:38 AM

Ah, see I use OneNote for pretty much everything. It has a cloud-syncable option thanks to OneDrive, and as a result can sync with my phone (which works with most of the features, though like the web version doesn't have full functionality -- not that I need full functionality most of the time).

Now, most of the time, I just use paper for something I need to be more mobile and easily available than my phone; or if I need to draw something.
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