Debra Moorhead: Aiming to show the dental industry the paperless way

Forerin_2 Dental Practice Management consultant and self empowerment author Debra Moorhead has begun a worthy 30-day paperless experiment aimed at keeping her new filing cabinet as paper barren as possible. More exciting is that this 30-day experiment only marks the first step in her goal of becoming "the paperless authority for the dental industry" in 2008.

I'm excited by this paperless proclamation of Debra's for two reasons. Firstly it's clearly evident just how passionate she is about making this happen (and from reading some of her posts she seems hugely motivated about making things happen). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, as an established management consultant, Debra is in the perfect position of influence, where she can really make a difference  in her industry.

For these reasons I really do wish Debra every success. If we have any hope of ever turning into a predominantly paperless society then it is only through the influence of motivated advocates such as her that we will have any chance of realising it.

I'll be following Debra's progress with great interest but one question remains though - what exactly is she going to be using that empty filing cabinet for? :o)

Meet the Paperless Ph.Der

Me_rounded Ph.D student Mike Pascoe recently dropped me an email to say hi and also to let me know about his goal to complete a 'Paperless Ph.D.'  What's more, Mike has already began demonstrating his paperless Ph.D workflow using a series of screen-casts. So far he's released two on YouTube and they make for recommended viewing (if only just to witness how supremely organised Mike's workflow is).

In the first of his screen-casts Mike demonstrates how he uses a combination of  medical journal site PubMed, clever custom RSS feeds (to inform him when articles of possible interest are submitted) and an interesting MAC-only app called Papers which provides him with a 'bells and whistles' front-end for the PubMed articles he needs to process and store.

In his second screen-cast Mike moves on to the business of dealing with Illiad sourced e-journal articles and the process he uses to firstly e-print to Papers before utilising PubMed to append the correct meta-data to his 'imported' articles

This is fantastic stuff and I really look forward to hearing more about Mike's paperless workflow. Ok so in terms of subject his Ph.D in Integrative Physiology couldn't be further away from my lowly humanities degree but hey here's a guy who's striving to manage a paperless workflow that's infinitely more mountainous than most students (myself included) so whatever he implements as part of his paperless operation has to be of considerable interest to the rest of us.

So Mike - all you got to do now is add a Tablet PC or UMPC to the mix and things are really going to get interesting :o)

LscTecForum blogger really has his paperless head screwed on!

Otpbadge I stumbled across this outstanding article over at the LscTecForum in which the move to a more paperless lifestyle is discussed and advocated. Following his observations that the amount of paper producing devices we have in our offices contradicts the notion of a ‘paperless office,’ the author, who is sadly nameless, overturns the “assumption that output needs to be on paper” and offers a number of excellent ideas that would facilitate the switch to paperless while making the whole experience a lot more congenial.

Among the excellent ideas put forward the author suggests taking greater efforts to ‘humanise’ computers themselves, making them a lot more pleasurable to use i.e. constructing laptops out of softer, spongier materials. He also suggests making peripherals less alien and more integrated to our person i.e. computer displays mounted in lightweight glasses and input devices that we unobtrusively wear (nothing new there but good to hear it suggested in relation to working paperlessly). Perhaps his most important suggestion for me, as I believe it’s one of the most essential implementations that can encourage and retain paperless operation (and one of the easiest to employ), is to make the paperless user’s environment as comfortable and accommodating as possible by using comfortable chairs, large and/or multiple screens and wireless keyboards (provided of course that only energy efficient devices are used :o))

The author’s closing paragraphs are perhaps the most poignant though. He suggests that ultimately it is the paper producing ethos of our bureaucratically run institutions that has to change if we are succeed in the quest to turn our society into a wholly paperless one – an opinion that I fully support and wholeheartedly agree with

Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 2

Moleskine_1 So if you were reading part 1 of my post, you’d remember that I ended proceedings with the ‘cliff-hanger’ statement that over the past few months I’ve harboured some ‘immoral’ paper-esque feelings that contradict my quest to operate 100% paperlessly Aghast! Horror! Shock!

Well firstly I should make it clear that unlike Jason I wouldn’t say that ‘scribbling away with my stylus has lost some of its flare and pizzazz.’ Thankfully I still experience that exact same ‘feel good’ buzz that I did on Day #1 so I’m thankful for that. However it’s the change to my course structure at university that has mainly resulted in me finding less of a necessity to continually scribe via digital ink. My degree course, as mentioned briefly in a previous post, is now more seminar based and consequently contains less lectures. Additionally my scheduled classes are significantly less in number than they were before leaving me more self guided and mobile which has had a significant impact on the way I operate.   

So specifically what are the detrimental feelings that have evolved over the past few months and why?

Continue reading "Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 2" »

Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 1

Paperless aficionado and MindManager supremo Jason Dorko recently scribed a thought provoking piece about his diminishing need to use his TabletPC (or rather his TabletPC in tablet mode) as his sole productivity ‘workhorse.’ Alternately, in order to maximise his efficiency, Jason now adopts a more prudent ‘make the tool(s) fit the job’ rather than the ‘job fitting the tool(s)’ ethos and a knock on effect of this has lead him to focus on a less stringent paperless lifestyle.

Continue reading "Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 1" »

The environmental cost of CTRL-P?

Ben Watson, Group Manager for Adobe’s Developer Relations Team, has posted a great article on his blog IMHO about the environmental damage (in terms of tree cost) caused by society’s insistence on printing everything.

Ben eloquently concludes, after extensive Google based research and some nifty maths work :o), that ubiquitous printer use has “nothing to do with technology preference, choice or anything like that. It is still all about lifestyle, choices, safe thinking and preservation of ritual”

It’s that last bit - ‘preservation of ritual’ that strikes the biggest chord with me. I’ve always thought that one of the biggest obstacles for any organisation aiming for paperless operation was those stubborn individuals who stick by their ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’ ethos and never ever move to a more paper friendly computerised operation (the more aged universities are notorious for this). Ben however highlights another group of people – those who have moved to using computers but seem to take comfort in exercising nostalgic preservation by printing copies of everything electronic.

Continue reading "The environmental cost of CTRL-P?" »

'Paperless' companies shooting themselves in the foot?

Niallpic Niall Cook over at his Marketing Technology blog at Hill & Knowlton brings up an interesting story about how he tried to open an new account with a bank and was consequently not allowed to present a print-out of his 'paperless' BT phone bill as a valid domestic bill. While I can, to some degree, accept why the bank would do this I can see a huge potential problem for people who have 100% migrated their bills to a paperless option (as can everyone else no doubt - it's pretty obvious)

It is perhaps a little more than ironic that those companies requesting a vaild paper copy of a bill from potential new customers are usually the same companies promoting paperless benefits to existing customers in the first place. These companies should perhaps split their paperless marketing team in half with that new 'half' devoting their time and energy on finding methods for authenticating paperless bills or better still finding different ways to authenticate/validate their new customers.

I agree completely with Niall. This kind of obstacle presents a HUGE 'fly in the ointment' in encouraging us all to turn paperless and until that 'fly' is removed then 100% paperless billing is nothing more than a non-viable pipe dream.

Thanks for the great post Niall.

Gentlemen (and ladies)….START YOUR SCANNERS!!!

Well the day for going back to university must be getting closer as everyone in the paperless Blogosphere seems to be talking book scanning. Looks like Tracy over at StudentTabletPC is really looking forward to her bout of pre-term scanning….NOT!!! and Jason at DorkoTech is celebrating the new book scanning season by buying a shiny new scanner. I’m looking forward to hearing how Jason gets on with his new scanner. He’s decided against the paperless student's  'scanner of choice' – the Plustek OpticBook and opted for the Canon MP830. With ADF (automatic document feed) and duplex scanning (scans both sides of a page at once) he may well have made a clever, time-saving choice.

What about my book scanning for the start of term? Well I got the basic 6 books that I need for next term at the start of July but not surprisingly they’re still waiting to be scanned....blush! Term time for me doesn’t begin until mid-September but if I put off the scanning much longer I’ll be doing it all in the first week I’m back. Nothing else for it....time to get a hold of a couple of 3 hour DVDs and monster size bag of Skittles and get to it :o) gets a makeover

While the rest of us (...well probably just me) are making the most of the summer weather others such as Tracy Hooten are working their fingers to the bone to bring a fresh look to their websites. POP yourself along to see the fruits of her labour (although I'm hoping her website is one of those you already visit daily anyway) it's well worth the clickity click!


Paper more productive? I beg to differ!


Michael over at pigpog,com, recently upped an article discussing why he considers paper to be a more productive medium than an electronic alternative. It’s a thought provoking article as he gives a number of good reasons for sticking with paper. However as a paperless advocate I consider it my duty to respond to the points Michael has made and also provide a few reasons why I think a paperless option can be more beneficial in increasing productivity.

Continue reading "Paper more productive? I beg to differ!" »

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