Last week I set off for an initial visit with a new client with the following technology:
This was the very 1st time I have gone to a client’s office without my laptop. I have been preparing for this for several months. I have traveled a couple of times on personal business and one conference with these tools in order to become comfortable with relying on these tools. It also has taken a good deal of research and testing to find the Apps that allow me to do this.
I put off buying an iPad for a very long time. I didn’t think I would find enough of a use for it to justify the cost. Was I wrong on this call. It has become my constant companion. So, if you are going to fully embrace such a tool then it should be properly equipped to answer as many of your needs as possible. As most of my friends and business associates know I am a software junkie. I am always trying new programs to see how they improve my productivity as well as that of my clients.
While I love my MacBook Pro and I have access to a lot of Mac software, my clients all use Microsoft products as that is what their agency management systems integrate with and support. Thus, I have a virtual PC on my MacBook Pro to facilitate this. In the last few weeks two new apps have been released that aid in editing Microsoft documents. These are CloudOn and OnLive Desktop. I have downloaded both and am working with them to see which functions the best. I will keep you posted on this.
But I hear a whole bunch of you asking what is a LiveScribe Pen and why. A LiveScribe pen is a tool for capturing your notes by writing, drawing, etc. on special paper. The pen also has a recorder function. As to the why? Years ago when I started consulting I was taught and required by my employer to take notes while talking to an agency’s employees by typing them on my laptop during the interview process. An open laptop is actually a barrier between you and the individual or group that you are wanting to have an interactive conversation with.
To combat this problem for a number of years I used a tablet laptop so that I could write my notes on the laptop in its tablet configuration. Not only was this an icebreaker, but it solved the problem with an open laptop. But when it had to be replaced there was not a similar laptop in the market place that was reliable. So I invested in the LiveScribe Pen. Not only does the pen and its paper take care of my note taking, the recorder had proven invaluable.
No matter how good a note taker your are, when working with a group sometimes multiple people are talking and you miss something. I have found some really important points made while listening to the recording of a session.
So why don’t I ditch the pen and just take notes on the iPad? I have identified three great note Apps. However, I have yet to find a really good stylus for note taking. All that I have found are too fat on the tip and are not responsive enough. However, I believe that one is on the horizon. I will report back on that soon.
I am always researching and moving forward with my technology and in being able to advise my clients in their options?
What are your best tools? What questions can I answer about the tools I use?