I’ve been using the notebook (right) for meetings since Autodesk University 2004. It’s apparent that I don’t take many analog notes as, seven years later, I have only just filled it! One reason it survived is I like the size and ring binding which allows pages to be torn out and filed/scanned.
Was that my last paper notebook?
An IT colleague noticed the old AU 2004 logo on that book recently and thanks to him I already have a replacement – from another conference - in the same format. Thanks Amit!
It will last even longer as I typically use a computer (laptop or tablet) or my iPhone for notes. For Autodesk University 2010 I didn’t take any paper documents as packed the company Convertible Tablet PC* and my iPhone. All my class resources were available on both – maintained using Dropbox cloud sync - and I used Mindjet applications for my notes.
For sessions like the main stage & keynotes I prefer Mindjet iPhone (left), especially with a black map theme. It is discreet, easy to handle and was able to keep up with the information flow for key info. I especially like being able to tap in rich info like URL’s and use them immediately if needed. I saw quite a few notebooks and iPads in the general session but think iPhone is better in tight theatre/stadium seating. I use the dark scheme as find a bright white screen in a dark room quite annoying (and imagine others do too).
I’d like this to be an application theme which applied to all parts of the Mindjet iPhone UI, not just the map document. I’d also prefer Mindjet iPhone to use the same .mmap format as MindManager but it has it’s own (compatible) format.
Or scrawl & scribble
For lectures I used MindManager on the Tablet PC in tablet/pen mode. As I detailed last year the MindManager structure, text recognition for search and ability to mix sketches and hand written text is awesome for lecture notes. The browser pane in MindManager allowed me to have reference session notes and my working note map side by side without fiddling with window layouts (or maximise/minimise).
Open, but not, Office
The Tablet had Open Office loaded and I found it poor at rendering anything other than basic Office documents. Some reference documents, especially presentations, were illegible as Open Office failed to resolve so much content or formatting. Lesson learnt for next time, take a real Office!
I don’t miss the dreaded post match “notes write up”!
One thing that I love is how IPhone Mindjet notes export to MindManager (right is the iPhone map seen above). I leave all my hand scrawled, can’t call it writing, maps in ink format. It’s OK for me to read and MindManager does background recognition which makes them searchable without conversion.
Apart from a simple file transfer from the iPhone there is no need to “process” notes or “write up” after a meeting. It is one aspect of analog note taking I don’t miss!
Tablet + Smartphone does not equal iPad?
This trip confirmed I don’t want a Tablet I can’t write on especially if it means losing half an - already small - screen for a virtual keyboard. For me the “gap” between smartphone and real computer is too small to justify investing in another platform.
* Although getting on the old HP was recently updated from Vista to Windows 7. The change has been rather remarkable as it almost feels like a new machine, especially the speed at which it wakes up from sleeping.