Tools of the trade

My Macbook hasn’t been out of my bag for a few days.

It’s not that I don’t love my Mac, I’ve been an Apple convert for years, but I finally found something that can do exactly what I wanSamsung Series 7 Slatet in meetings (if I tolerate Windoze 7).

I’m now carrying a Samsung series 7 slate as well and it is not only performing perfectly. It’s also changing the way I work (for the better).

What I love:

  • Weight (or rather lack of it)
  • Screen is lovely
  • Handwriting in OneNote
  • Handwriting recognition (even of mine)
  • Using it as virtual whiteboard – and documenting as I go
  • Mindjet Mind Manager with writing (so much more focused when you don’t have to type… and using that as a whiteboard for flashstorming is fantastic)

What could be better:

  • The Samsung badge fell off the back (come on Samsung you can do better than that!)
  • Battery life could be better (but it’s enough for typical meetings)
  • Still haven’t found the ideal carry case
  • Windows 7 isn’t perfect even with a stylus
  • Touch keyboard delay is annoying
  • Bluetooth keyboard config sometimes vanishes for no reason

I’ve never totally abandoned Windows, but until I bought this I never questioned if I would need to carry my Mac or not…. I guess it’s doing what the iPad should have done for me and OneNote does everything I want from a note taking tool, that’s allowed me to dump my pen and paper totally.

My typical day now involves printing out slides and word documents directly into a cloud based OneNote repository, where I can annotate and adjust on screen during meetings. The changes get sent as PDF to someone who is supporting me on a project, or printed and dealt with after the meeting. This saves forests of paper and means that when I have support from the office that the slides adjustments get passed on hours sooner.

I have a feeling this could be an interesting year for tablets, and Windows 8 could well pull me even further back to the dark side.