Paperless challenge: here’s the map

Saturday, October 29th, 2005
Several readers have asked me to share my planning map for my Paperless Challenge. This afternoon, I created a MindManager map and dumped all of my current thoughts and ideas into it.

Here's the map.

Note, you will have to allow the Active-X control to see the MindManager viewer. You can move around, resize, print, or even download the map to your own PC. I recommend that you click on the menu button and open the map in a new window.

I can already tell you that the first challenge I faced today was my habit of printing my completed mind map out on a large 11x17 piece of paper. I like paper. I'm curious to see what my thoughts are in a few weeks. I can take comfort in thinking about all the InkJet cartridges I'll save. :-)

If you want to follow along and have not already subscribed to this blog, here's a link to the blog and comment feed.

For those of you who are interested in how I embedded the map viewer into my blog, it was really quite easy. Embedding the map amounted to pasting in a few lines of code. (See here for details)

UPDATE 11/1/2005

For non-IE users, click here to download the MindManager map
For a PDF version, click here

Toshiba wants to know what I think

Friday, October 28th, 2005
Ti Le, Market Research Manager, Toshiba America Information Systems, sent me an email (perhaps you received one too?) with a generic reply-to address asking me to complete an on-line survey to find out what I think about my recent Tecra M4 purchase. I guess Ti Le does not read my blog. :-(  

From the wording of the survey questions, it appears that they were more interested in looking for additional sales opportunities than they were in knowing what I thought of my recent purchase.  I decided to tell them anyway, in the tiny comment field provided at the end of the survey form:

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Three approaches to the truth

Friday, October 28th, 2005
Tonight, John MacArthur came and spoke in chapel on the importance of an accurate interpretation of the Scriptures. Majesty led the worship time. It was an inspiring evening and I'm glad I went. I really appreciate that John takes the time to come and address us each year; it was neat to be able to stick around and talk with him after. It was better than watching him on CNN; Larry King was not there to interrupt at the good points for a commercial break.  I mentioned to John that I really appreciated the fact that Grace to You now offers their daily broadcasts in mp3s via RSS. John told me that he was really excited to branch out into this new medium for publishing. I wonder if he will blog next?

I told a colleague that I would post the key points that I noted during John's teaching:

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More on my 8-week paperless challenge

Friday, October 28th, 2005
I've always held that there's no such thing as the paperless office, but that there is the promise of a less-paper office. Well, I hope to prove one of these statements true.

Clients are watching and smiling

A client smiled yesterday, when I described this challenge. As a productivity coach, she's seen too many people get caught up in the tools only to reduce their productivity. I've had the same observation and experience. This challenge maybe no different. I explained that my objective was not necessarily to prove that it could be done, but to learn what was practical. I fully expect that there are areas in which I will become less productive by eliminating paper; at the same time I expect to discover areas where I can honestly say that the Tablet PC has made a significant improvement in my work.

When I advise clients who inquire about the productive benefits of using a Tablet PC along with applications such as OneNote or perhaps MindManager or some other tablet app, I want to be able to tell them (and show them) from experience what I've concluded. So for me, whatever the outcome, this will be a success in that I will know first hand, what works.

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I’m ready for my next Tablet PC Challenge

Thursday, October 27th, 2005
Inspired by this post, I've decided to challenge myself to see if I can effectively use my Tablet PC as a total replacement for pen, paper, and books. Next week, I start an intense 8-week business law course and I've decided to use this course as the subject of my next Tablet PC challenge. My objective is to determine what the benefits/drawbacks of using a TabletPC as my sole tool (to replace pen, paper, and yes, even Post-Its) for the next 10 weeks.  I've previously blogged about scanning and annotation tools. Now, I'm going to see if I can live with all of these tools in an intense way for the next two months. I figure this will be the tipping point for my use of a Tablet PC. Through this experiment, I'm certain to find things that I like, things that I dislike, and hopefully, a suitable collection of tools and best practices to help me use the Tablet in the most efficient way possible.

Why am I doing this? Well, for the past few months, I've used my Tecra M4 more as a laptop than a tablet. Some of this is due to the software issues I've previously reported. Some of this is because I got out of the habit of using the tablet after the various systems problems.

I still believe in the Tablet PC as a computing platform for the future. The question, for me, is whether or not it's truly a viable and productive tool for the present - at least my present.

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Should bloggers respond to every comment?

Saturday, October 15th, 2005
Should bloggers eliminate comments from their blog sites to improve productivity and remove the appearance of orphan comment threads? It's a question I've pondered more than once. It takes a lot of time to respond to the many comments and emails that I receive each day. Yet, comments hanging without a response can create a feeling of loose ends and may even make me look like I do not care. It's simply a time issue. I wish I had the time to personally respond to each any every comment on my blog,

While a blog author may serve or prompt the main course, I find that it's often the people who post comments that add the seasoning.

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New mNotes version 4.x looks good

Saturday, October 15th, 2005
I decided to re-evaluate the latest release of mNotes; I wanted to compare it to Pylon iAnywhere. I'm not ready to post a review, but I can say that the folks at Commontime have been busy. One thing I like about the mNotes product is that a license is per-user, regardless of the type of PDA, how many simultaneous PDAs are synched and regardless of whether you sync by USB, Bluetooth, or wireless. In fact, the server's the same for all three. The program is tightly integrated with Notes, too. The e-mail support Notes rich, including full bidirectional support for folders, which means that you can process your mail on your PDA. Handle it once; sweet. If you're looking for a sync solution between Notes and your PDA, mNotes is certainly an option to consider. Link: Commontime.

The wife of noble character

Friday, October 14th, 2005
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. - Proverbs 18:22

Kathy, as we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary for the 15th time, I took some time to reflect on my blessings from a biblical perspective:

A wife of noble character who can find?
     She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
     and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good not harm
     all the days of her life.

     - Proverbs 31:10-12

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Maggie Bushway in the News

Thursday, October 13th, 2005
Our efforts to help Maggie redecorate her hospital room made the news today.

Rob Bushway writes:
The Channel 5 (NBC) news crew came by Maggie’s room today to interview her and us about her story and these tremendous web cards. If you are in St. Louis or you can pickup the Channel 5 NBC station from St. Louis via satellite, be sure to check it out. Its’ a great testimony of the tremendous love people have for her and God’s wonderful Grace ...


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Take time to look outside

Thursday, October 13th, 2005
It's all too easy to forget to open the shutters on my office windows. Look at what I almost missed ...


Hanging out with Gort, Robby, Roomba and C-3PO

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
The RoboNexus conference exhibition hall was not too crowded on Friday. We saw a variety of robots from consumer models to entertainment robots to autonomous military robots. iRobot had a large display with their military and consumer robots. Many people were interested in iRobot's consumer productivity robots that vacuum (Roomba) and wash (Scooba) floors. Kathy asked if Roomba could really suck up things like cheerio's or dog hair. The representative dumped out a box of granola into the carpet and Roomba went to work sucking it up. Most of it. I'm convinced that these robots work best if you live in a museum with no furniture and have no children, toys, or pets. Actually, the demonstrations were pretty good. I found the autonomous and remote controlled reconnaissance and rescue robots much more interesting.


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Maximum Personal Productivity

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005
What's your definition of Maximum Personal Productivity? My colleague, Jason Womack, just posted his:

I am most productive when I do what I said I would do in the time that I promised.

Simple and to the point. Not a lot of room to improve on that definition. Sounds like a great affirmation for a screen saver.

Jason goes on to share some of his tools of choice for managing commitments.

Thanks, Jason!
This weekend, I took the Family to the RoboNexus robotics conference in San Jose. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to visit with my wife and children and to visit my mother-in-law in the hospital.

I took the M4 along for the ride on Amtrak's San Joaquin to Northern California; I wanted to test my new prototype Tablet PC stand. Here's the blog update from the train.

Continue Reading "Training with the Tablet, Robots, and wireless" »

Not something you see every day

Monday, October 10th, 2005
Just a few hours ago, while driving down I5 to a Human Resource Management class in Santa Clarita, I noticed a low-flying airplane near the tower at Magic Mountain. (20 years ago, as a flight student out of Van Nuys, the flight instructor used to make me fly out to practice maneuvers over the Newhall area, which at the time, was sparsely populated. I thought it odd that a small plane would be flying so low, but I did not give it much thought.) I thought it might be a CHP aircraft on a spotting maneuver. A moment later, the plane was gone.

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I have a favor to ask of all readers of my blog: Please take two minutes to help Maggie reach her goal of wallpapering her hospital room with e-cards before her next scheduled brain surgery, this Wednesday.

Fellow technologist, homeschool father, and Tablet MVP, Rob Bushway, has been sharing his family's ongoing experiences as they care for 9-year old Maggie, who's suffering from brain cancer. Maggie's presently in Children's hospital in St. Louis undergoing additional treatment. Rob's blogging the experience from the hospital.

While she awaits another brain surgery, Maggie's decorating her hospital room and she would like your help. Please take a moment to learn about Maggie, then take two minutes to send her (and her family) an e-card via the hospital web site. (Maggie Bushway, Room 104)

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