Day 3 : Tablet PC

Today was another great day with the tablet. I am starting to find it difficult to imagine how I functioned without it. Well that’s a stretch I know but heck its fun. Now all I need is to give it a name…..

It is proving to be the perfect companion for quick little progress meetings. All the flexibility of a pad of paper with the functionality and accessibility of a laptop…but better.

Tonight I am noticing another great use for the Tablet. I love it for reading. There is so much material on the web that I love to read but generally cut short due to this discomfort of sitting at my desk staring at my monitor. I usually take the iBook and kick back either on the deck or in bed, but that too has its limitations. However curling up with the Tablet is ideal. Espiecially for Blog reading.

Even tonight while I was installing Windows on my PC (new harddrive), I kicked back and read most of Joel Spolsky’s book on UI Design (at least the online segments). Great writer. He hits on some real truths about end users and delivers them in a truely entertaining and interesting manner. I love reading his stuff.

I admit I am having alot of fun with the new messenger. Sending messages in ink is fast, fun and safe. No worries of embarressing errors in handwriting recognition. At first I was disappointed that I couldnt use the cool new emoticons but then I realized (when talking to my older bro) that there are things I can draw with ink to convey a message that I doubt Microsoft will ever create an emoticon for.

I was disappointed with One Note in the way it keeps creating new sticky things as I am trying to make a list or note. At first I thought it was a setting I had wrong but Steve tells me that its a common problem people are having that will be fixed in next Beta release. This pleases me since I would rather stick to MS Products whenever possible when it comes to project docs and collaboration as they all work so well with each other now.

I am still using Mind Manager too. I was playing around with creating some branch templates, filtering, and exporting. The filtering and power select functions are great.

Picture it, you leave a crazy design session where 1000 ideas were tossed around, tasks were identified, questions raised, questions answered, decisions made etc.. Normally all these things don’t just come out in an orderly form that flows directly onto your paper. In fact if you want to stand any chance of survival you need to learn to flag as many things with symbols or marks as possible so that they don’t get lost in the pile.

With Mind manager you can just assign a colour to certain items. Simple enough and not time consuming. Then when you get out of the meeting you can filter items by referencing the colour and add symbols that are representative of what the object actually is (question, task). As well you can export maps into word, html docs, project, powerpoint, images etc.. It even has built in publishing to the web via FTP.

I also noticed today that for making quick calculations or edits to a spreadsheet using the tablet, its much easier if you zoom in on the sheet. Great for quick cell changes, comments and calculations.

Its also nice to print files to the Journal Note Writer and scratching them up. Excellent for making presentations and having group discussions.

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