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In computer news this week 01/04/2012
What's your mentality for 2012 - paper or digital?
Do you have a paper memory, or do you have a digital computer memory? If you have a paper memory, this is a very busy time of the year for you. If you have a digital computer memory, meaning you use a computer program or a cell phone for certain tasks, things are a lot easier
I'm not being judgmental; I'm just pointing out that if you have a personal computer or a newer cell phone, which most people do, you can really save yourself a lot of time - at this time of the year particularly - by using digital programs instead of the traditional way.
One of the most common programs used is Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is a good selection of tools to do everyday tasks for business and personal items – email, an address book or contact manager, a calendar, and a To - Do list, so I'll use it in our paper/computer memory comparison. Many cell phone also supports these same Outlook functions.
If you're of the paper mentality, you've been busy putting up paper calendars, marking key days like birthdays and special events, and transferring information from your old calendars to your new 2012 ones. Regular meetings require a lot of marking and writing - don't they? Let’s mark Friday January 6th for that weekly department meeting – OK only 51 one more to go ...... sharpen that pencil ...
If you use digital memory, probably most of those birthdays and special events and meetings are already in your device and will just repeat themselves for 2012. For example, once you enter someone’s birthday it will keep showing up each year. For meetings and events you just set up the recurrence of the event and they will appear automatically, weekly, monthly or whatever.
With your paper calendar, you have to look at it and flip the pages to see what's coming up. With Outlook, it shows you your calendar all the time in a variety of views which you can choose. You can even print out a paper calendar for any period of time in a variety of formats, if you want a paper copy.
If you're of the paper mentality, you've probably spent considerable time copying names and addresses over to your new 2012 address book. If you use Outlook, there's no work to do - it's all there - same as last year. In fact, you can even print out your address book on paper - in several small address book formats - if you so desire.
If you use a paper address book - does it have a line for email addresses, website addresses, cell phone numbers, IM addresses; Facebook addresses? Some don't.
If you're of the paper mentality, how do you handle your "Things to do or tasks list". Still using that string around your finger, or do you have those more modern yellow sticky notepads?
With Outlook you can have a To do list, assign priorities to tasks, have due dates, and have it remind you about tasks; even show you the percentage you've completed.
With paper, you probably write upcoming appointments down on your paper calendar and maybe on slips of paper. If you need to change it - you scribble out the old date and write in the new one somewhere.
With Outlook all your appointments are in your calendar. Your computer will remind you in advance when an appointment is coming up. If you have to reschedule it - you can just drag and drop it to the new day and time, without scribbling or rewriting.
I went shopping once with a friend of the paper mentality looking for one of those combination calendar/address books which fit in a binder and used to be so popular before personal computers and cell phones automated these tasks.
Several stores said they had nothing like that, but one very young sales woman – obviously of the Facebook generation - did say “Oh yeah, I remember my Grandma used one of those ...”
So maybe next year when you face all that paper pushing again, maybe you might consider switching mentalities. From “We must preserve the old ways ...” to using that electronic device which can do a much better job for you.
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This is Frank Delaney
(C) 2012 MTA Micro Technology Associates