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Tag: paperless

Concussion diagnosis: There’s an app for that

Concussion diagnosis: There’s an app for that

The whole quantified self movement gains momentum with every new app and gadget that allows us to track our own health and that of others. Via Gizmodo Australia comes news that scientists have now found a way of diagnosing concussion in sports players:

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed a voice-recognition iPad app that listens for signs of a brain injury in someone’s speech, providing an almost instant diagnosis

As an instructor of a contact activity[1] I can see that it would be very useful to be able to quickly make such a diagnosis. At this stage, it seems that the app requires each player to be baselined before a match, and it will be interesting to see if one day the technology expands to cover non-baselined individuals.

  1. I teach Shorinjiryu Koshinkai karate at the Kengokan Dojo in Sydney  ↩

The Point of Paperless: Eliminating Paper-bourne Clutter

The Point of Paperless: Eliminating Paper-bourne Clutter

2013 is for me the year where I am completing my transition to a fully paperless life in my business initiatives, and in my personal life. In order to get a picture of what this actually means, I’ve thought long and hard about the definition of the term “paperless”.

I’ve been intending to post about this thinking process for a while, but was motivated to do so when I saw this quote from Jordyn Russell of Fujitsu America:

Tracking invoices digitally is one of the many benefits of PDF. And yet, we continue to print a large majority of invoices that were once PDF.

Coupled with the fact that “the average US office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year”, it really is time that we consider just how much paper we actually use, and how much we realistically need to use.

So what does “paperless” mean? Wikipedia states that:

A paperless office is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced

Eliminated or greatly reduced? Which is it?

Well I think that eliminated (i.e. paperless being “without paper”) would be the perfect goal, but the problem with perfection is that it is unattainable.

I think it’s far more realistic to set the sites on greatly reduced. In other words, paperless being “less paper”. Significantly less. Eliminate it wherever possible. Without getting stupid about it…

Paper comes into my life all the time – invoices, bank statements and similar items come in by hard copy all the time. Throughout the typical day you collect additional paper-bourne clutter as you go about life. Receipts, business cards, tickets, brochures, etc all end up in little piles in your wallet, car and house.

As David Sparks said beautifully in the Paperless MacSparky Field Guide:

“We are bombarded with bits of paper and digital information every day. Much of it (too much of it) is trash but some of it is absolutely essential.”

Making front-end decisions when processing bits of paper into your life is critical. Having the tools to do so is important. I plan to continue posting from time-to-time on this journey talking about my workflows and tools I use.

What’s your view on paperless – do you aim for total elimination of paper-bourne clutter or do you seeks great reduction?

Brooks Duncan reviews doo

Brooks Duncan reviews doo

A week or two back, a new productivity app called doo popped up in the Mac App Store. Tagged as a way of accessing "every document of your life" wherever they are, in seconds, doo is a document organisation system that appeals to me as part of my quest for a paperless lifestyle.

I’ve been using Evernote as my primary document repository, but I have been growing increasingly wary about storing everything online in a third party system that stores documents in a proprietary format. Following the attempted hack on Evernote user data, I’ve made the decision to move any personal or business data that would be sensitive or confidential in nature back to a local database. I would prefer to be able to access key data on-the-go, so have been looking at systems like Yojimbo, DEVONthink and now doo.

I had installed doo last week with the intent of playing around with it a little, but since Sunday I’ve been gradually moving all the sensitiive Evernote data back to it. So far, it looks like a very powerful system that makes going paperless quite straightforward.

Today, Brooks Duncan of DocumentSnap has posted his initial review of the doo Mac OSX app. He gives what I think is the best description yet of doo:

You can think of it as a combination of Evernote and Dropbox, but unlike Evernote you can completely use the software without ever having to touch the web service, and unlike Evernote your documents do not get moved inside the application, and unlike Dropbox there is a nice local application to help you organize and find your documents

Right now doo has an OSX app and a Windows 8 app (interestingly, the Windows 8 version was launched several months ago, well before any other versions). In development are iOS and Android versions, as well as versions for other systems, including "legacy Windows".

doo is free for local storage, and has a range of plans for their optional doo Cloud backup and sync services. There is a 30 day free trial of their 25GB sync plan.

It’s fair to say that doo is in its early stages. Although not a beta release, I think that as the mobile apps come online, and as additional features are added, doo has the potential to become a very powerful organisation system, and could well be my flagship app for my paperless document management system.