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3 steps to digitising your work for maximum productivity

Paul Mah | July 3, 2015
From legacy documents to the lowly receipt, taking a digital-first approach to your work stuff will bolster collaboration and increase productivity.

As a bonus, words are transcribed using OCR technology as they're written. The downside is that a special notebook available in a variety of form factors is required for the data capture to work. Livescribe also works with standard paper that's been pre-printed with the requisite unique pattern of dots, which is available as a free download.

And a new generation of third-party stylus such the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline and the Adonit Jot Script even boast palm rejection capabilities so that users can place their palms on their tablet much like they would with an analog notebook or old-school pad of paper.

Finally, devices like the Surface Pro 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note phablet also come with a stylus for writing directly onto it. These integrated styli typically work a lot better than third-party add-ons.

3. Effortlessly digitize legacy data

Having the tools and the capability to natively capture your notes, docs and the like in digital form is a good thing. But that doesn't mean you're going to stop receiving paper bills, invoices, statements, receipts, business cards, product brochures and other printed material.

One of the best ways to minimize ink-on-paper collateral is to aggressively digitize all documents whenever possible. You have a variety of options. The easiest is to use a smartphone app such as Scanner Pro to quickly capture everything from business cards to paper printouts. Quality may vary, however, depending on such environmental factors as lighting and the quality of your smartphone's camera.

A more robust alternative is to make use of an automatic sheet-fed scanner such as the NeatConnect Wi-Fi scanner to scan printed sheets straight to OneNote or Evernote. Portable scanners also exist, such as the battery-powered Doxie Go Wi-Fi and Doxie Flip. The former lets you scan wirelessly to an iPad or iPhone, while the latter is best described as a portable flatbed scanner that can be inverted to scan items that are fixed in place, or which are too thick to pass through a sheet-fed scanner.

Finally, the Fujitsu ScanSnap PV600 is a deskbound scanner that simplifies digitizing magazines and bound books. Items are placed face-up on its scanning mat. The scanning takes about three seconds to dump into a USB-connected computer. Any curvature in the pages is automatically smoothed out via software, resulting in a high quality capture.

Depending on your needs, the ScanSnap PV600 could allow you to continue scribbling down your ideas and notes in a physical notebook, yet be able to quickly scan the physical pages into their digital notebook of choice at the end of each day.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digitizing your work. There are hundreds of tools that exist to facilitate the full range of business activities and processes without ever having to involve a single printed sheet.


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